Spoof-proof phones: Virtually un-hackable face authentication is here

trinamiX is working with Qualcomm to unlock the world’s highest biometric smartphone security behind OLED display for use with Snapdragon platforms

This article was originally published by Qualcomm

March 9, 2023
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Long gone are the days when mask-based identity theft was only a problem for the Mission Impossible Force. Today, face-enabled phones and artificial intelligence (AI) make science fiction a reality.

Synthetic entertainment media like deepfakes are emerging as the latest threat as cybercriminals use biometric security hacks for phishing, identity theft, financial fraud, information manipulation, political unrest, and other unscrupulous pursuits. Gartner predicts 20% of account attacks will happen this way in 2023 alone.

An unexpected discovery

In 2011, BASF chemical scientists unearthed a solution through work in a different world — organic solar cells. Although a flaw within that context, the foible was revolutionary in light of face authentication. A finding so significant, BASF gave it a dedicated lane by founding trinamiX as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2015.

“Our mother company believed in us to follow this path,” recalls trinamiX Director of Consumer Electronics in North America and Europe, Wilfried Hermes. “This rock-solid foundation sets us up for a strong trajectory.”

Within only a few years, trinamiX turned their finding into a novel face authentication technology and incorporated it into a smartphone demonstrator. Today, trinamiX is driving the next generation of biometric authentication for smartphones.

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How it works: a unique skin detection

This technology debuts a new dimension to face authentication by discerning skin over impersonating materials to verify a user’s liveness. In other words: A two-dimensional photo or a three-dimensional replica can’t open your phone not only because it knows your face, but also because it knows whether the object being scanned is a live human being or not. And, it seamlessly delivers this ultra-level security with ease.

Android and the FIDO Alliance already put the solution to the test, both certifying its breakthrough as successful even under its stringent standards.

Your portable vault

Your smartphone is home to your most valuable information. With trinamiX as part of the Qualcomm Platform Solutions Ecosystem, devices powered by Snapdragon and enabled with the trinamiX biometric solutions can access the protection you need and deserve.

The initial voice call focus of phones has been usurped with day-to-day key functionality. Now, your phone is where cherished memories, private conversations, important identifications, login credentials, friends and family contact information, and so much more, is stored.

Plus, you put your money where your mouth is. Reports show nearly 70% of people pay for goods and services on their smartphones regularly — and most plan to do this even more.1 With today’s phones housing such sensitive data, it’s crucial to keep it safe.

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Security and convenience

The trinamiX face authentication solution sets a new gold standard in the protection of smartphones against unauthorized access, fraud, and tampering. It combines the effortless convenience of biometric authentication preferred around the world with the security that’s been missing.2

Thanks to a patented technology called Beam Profile Analysis, trinamiX Face Authentication simultaneously verifies both your identity and your liveness.


  • To ensure not even a hyper-realistic replica of your face will grant unauthorized access to your personal data.
  • Unlike existing liveness detection on the market, trinamiX Face Authentication is virtually un-hackable.3

Filling the gaps: Qualcomm Trusted Execution Environment

With your personal data being protected by your — and only your — biometrics, there was only one more security gap to be filled: the protection of the biometric data itself.

By collaborating with us, trinamiX now optimizes its face authentication solution for use with the latest Snapdragon mobile platforms and securely runs it inside the Qualcomm Trusted Execution Environment (TEE).

The TEE creates a self-contained environment, which is fully separated from all other applications and data on your smartphone, allowing for isolated, anti-spoof and secure processing of trinamiX’s software. Here, all collected biometric data is shielded from third-party access and potential leaks.

“We are happy to partner with Qualcomm Technologies to allow smartphone users to get the smoothest and safest authentication experience,” adds Hermes.

The collaboration has proven so productive, that Qualcomm Technologies and trinamiX are also partnering on a second collaboration to bring another trinamiX solution, based on spectroscopy technology, to devices with Snapdragon platforms in the next two years.

“We have been working with Qualcomm Technologies for four years, having started in its Independent Software Vendor program,” explains Hermes. “The technological development has been so fruitful that we decided to expand it into a strategic collaboration because of how helpful the company has been.”

Seeing is believing

A few months ago, we debuted trinamiX Face Authentication at Snapdragon Summit 2022 on the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 reference design. The audience was also excited to see how the solution is fast and easy, and how it operates invisibly from behind the smartphone’s display, so there is no need for a punch hole or notch.

“Since the summit and the first announcement, we have been busy showing the technology to players just about anywhere in the consumer electronics industry,” adds Hermes. “Everybody is really excited to see and experience trinamiX Face Authentication.”

What’s next?

This is just the start. The initial response has stirred up manufacturing momentum, and we will share specific go-to-market announcements as they are ready.

Wave your hand if you’re ready for next-level face authentication. Hello. We see you, and we’re waving back… because it’s on the way.


1: GFK Consumer Life Study, 2021

2: Mastercard Annual New Payments Index (NPI), 2022

3: trinamiX Face Authentication is certified according to IIFAA Biometric Face Security Test Requirement, FIDO Levels A-C and Android Biometric Class 3 (strong). It passed each test with a Spoof Acceptance Rate of 0%.

Snapdragon and Qualcomm branded products are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.