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Demo Traction: This start-up can read your poker face

Lucas Mearian | Sept. 17, 2015
Facial recognition tech can even tell how a jury will judge a defendant.

"There are two pathways in the brain that drive facial movement. You can move your face deliberately...and then there's another pathway... the emotional center," Denman said. "If you're trying to have a poker face..., often what you get are micro expressions.

"The average person doesn't see the micro expressions," she added.

Another presenter at DEMO, Jeremy Allaire, wants digital money to be as easy and free to transfer as an email. Allaire is CEO of Bitcoin start-up Circle Internet Financial, a Bitcoin wallet service, meaning it offers methods to buy and sell the digital currency.

It's being well received by venture capitalists. In the two years since its launch, it has already raised $76 million in three series of funding.

One problem with Bitcoins today is that there are few user-friendly options to use them for making a payment; that, Allaire said, is stifling adoption.

Circle provides mobile apps to enable greater ease-of-use in online and in-person payments, along with enhanced security and privacy for customers.

It's also free to make instant, digital money transfers. Because it's free to send text and photos over the Internet, Allaire said the transfer of money should be free as well.

"Most [online payment systems] are built on the idea that they're going to generate revenue from payments. We don't think there's a business for charging fees for sending money," Allaire said. "We think a dollar should be able to be transmitted as a dollar."

Circle's service is not new. Several other companies also use Bitcoin as part of a payment system, including BitPay, Braintree and Coinbase and Stripe. The latter servcies are used for transactions with eBay and PayPal.

Circle is focused on the consumer market, leaving business-to-business transactions to financial services companies. Circle has set up operations in the U.S., Europe and  China.

Circle is built on block chain-based technology, through which blocks of data are secured with a cryptographic hash. The hash is used to verify the data contained within the message, and any attempt to alter the data creates a new hash that wouldn't match the existing hash on record.

While Allaire didn't say how his company would eventually make money, he did say "things will get interesting" when there's wide adoption.


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