Heart scans over facial recognition, retinal scans any day
If you think facial recognition, retinal scans, and passwords are enough to secure a device, a research team at the University of Buffalo would like to differ. After all, they've devised a computer security system that relies on the heart for unlocking a device. Now, that's innovation! The team will present its research at 23rd Annual International Conference on MobiCom. Here's how it works.
What is it all about?
The security system makes use of low-level Doppler radar, which measures one's heart and keeps on monitoring it to make sure that no one else ends up using your computer. Researchers say that it's way more effective than passwords or other biometric identifiers. Once this technology is fully made available for commercial use, it can be integrated into smartphones or at airport checkpoints.
Securing your device becomes a breeze
The study's lead author, and an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Wenyao Xu said, "We would like to use it for every computer because everyone needs privacy" and "logging-in and logging-out are tedious." It's capable of scanning one's heart in 8 seconds and then it keeps monitoring the heart steadily.
Why is it so secure?
The system took three years to be developed. It identifies individuals based on the geometry of their heart, its shape, size, and how it moves. "No two people with identical hearts have ever been found," Xu said. Also, hearts don't alter shape unless a condition develops. There are no health risks, as the signal strength of the radar is less than a normal Wi-Fi.
So what are the advantages?
This system has several advantages over the existing biometric methods used to secure a device. It constantly monitors the selected user and shuts down the device as soon as anyone else tries to take over. Moreover, it's a non-contact device and doesn't require authentication every time. Xu plans on miniaturizing the system and integrating it into computer keyboards and mobile devices in future.
Do more with Face ID
Meanwhile, Apple's new Face ID feature can do more than unlocking your phone, securing Apple Pay, applying portrait mode to selfies and bringing zing to animojis. Apparently, the Face ID reciprocates when one is looking at it. In such scenarios, it reveals notifications and messages only for the user's eyes, keeps the screen on and also lowers the alarm/ringer volume if the user is nearby.