With today’s announcement of the Humaniq mobile app, it’s time for a recap of all the exciting features we have developed! Right now it’s still in beta stage, but with real Humaniq tokens.
So, without further ado, here is the list:
Biometric Identification (Face Recognition)
The whole system rests on this feature. It needs to correctly identify whether a real person is in front of the phone, with no possibility of tampering or erroneous authentication.
To do this, the underlying module uses complicated machine learning algorithms, and constant testing and fine tuning is done to cover all possible scenarios.
Tampering is prevented in several ways, which protect against both low-tech attacks (like putting a photograph in front of the camera), and more advanced software and hardware attacks aimed at replacing the camera image feed with fake data.
Among other things, these safety measures make it possible for the app to safely authenticate multiple people, each having their own separate account. This is great for poor families or communities who can only afford one smartphone.
While 100% proof of identity is the ultimate goal of our biometric identification, many companies much bigger than Humaniq are still working on this. As such, a password will still be required for the foreseeable future, to act as a failsafe mechanism.
A lot of research was put into creating the most user-friendly interface for populations who have trouble reading, or have complicated writing systems. There is no text in the app, and a text-to-speech engine was implemented to provide the explanations that are needed.
Phone number integration
Upon registration, the phone number that is present in the phone will be tied to the account, and the contacts book will be synced to look for other Humaniq users. This is an important step that enables several other features that will be explained later.
The app includes a custom-tailored wallet for HMQ tokens. A lightweight node listener module was built to track the blockchain and interact with it when sending payments. The private keys are stored on a compartmentalized server that is separate from the rest of our infrastructure, which means that potential vulnerabilities on other systems won’t impact the key storage server. Regardless, the keys are encrypted in such way that even if an attacker managed to gain access to them, he wouldn’t be able to read and use them.
Using the wallet is easy, as there are no hexadecimal addresses involved. You can send payments through a QR Code, your contacts list, or directly through a phone number. Requesting payments is just as easy, and works in the same three ways.
Contacts, or other people who are not Humaniq users yet, can be invited through the app. They will receive a link to the personal page of the referrer at hmq.im/username, which contains an introduction to Humaniq and what makes it special.
There, people can leave their phone number, and then download the app. When the invited user completes the biometric identification procedure, the referrer will be rewarded with a small amount of tokens.
The Humaniq app will feature a chat system based on the Whisper protocol, with the ability to send text and audio. The system is designed to be extremely lightweight, with several optimizations made to decrease the size of the messages and overall traffic.
Due to extreme limitations of the internet infrastructure in Africa, especially mobile internet, the app had to be designed to be extremely light in terms of data consumption. The end result is that the whole app requires only 10 MB to download, and each transaction and chat message only uses 10kb of data.