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New security system uses the heart as a password

Goodbye to the retina and fingerprint scanners. The password of the future is the heart

The recent launch of the iPhone X and its new facial recognition unlocking technology have brought biometric security back to conversations among the general public. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Buffalo (USA) has developed the ultimate safety tool: a biometric system that analyzes the dimensions of the heart to unlock the phone or log on to the computer.

The alphanumeric password is already somewhat demodé in the century we live in and biometric security seems to be the way to go in the future, being the fingerprints , the retina scans and the facial recognition only the beginning, because each unique biological signature is currently being investigated as a potential form of security in this connected world. From an identification system based on body odor to the scanning of veins, our body is full of unique biometric markers that can be used as a personalized access code.

Heart biometrics

Scientists at the University of Buffalo have taken heart biometrics a step further by creating a system that uses a low-level Doppler radar to identify the unique shape and size of a person’s heart. With this biometric security system, we just have to approach to unlock the device and move away to block it.

The heart scan is presented as a safe alternative to passwords

The Doppler radar measures the heart and then continuously monitors it to make sure no one else has intervened to run the computer or device in question.

Technology is a safe and potentially more effective alternative to passwords and other biometric identifiers, according to the Expert.

“We would like to use it for each computer because everyone needs privacy.” Registering and disconnecting is tedious, “says Wenyao Xu, head of the study.

How does it work?

If the size and shape of the scanned heart match that stored for that user in the database, the device is unlocked. The fact of having selected the heart as a bulwark of security is because the heart does not change throughout a person’s adult life (unless suffering from some type of serious heart disease).

The intensity of the system’s radar signal “is much lower than that of Wi-Fi, ” and therefore poses no threat to health. “We live every day in a Wi-Fi environment and the new system is as safe as Wi-Fi devices, the reader is 5 milliwatts, even less than 1 percent of the radiation of our smartphones,” says Xu.

The system needs about 8 seconds to scan a heart the first time; afterward, he is able to continuously recognize that heart.

This innovative security system uses the geometry of the heart, its shape and size, and how it moves to make an identification. “You have never met two people with identical hearts,”



The new system has several advantages over current biometric tools. First of all, it is a passive device, without contact, so you do not have to bother the user to ‘log in’ when they connect. And second, it monitors users constantly. This means that the machine will not work if there is a different person in front. Therefore, people do not have to remember to close session ever.

Xu plans to reduce the size of the system and install it on the corners of computer keyboards and even on smartphones.

Reference: Cardiac Scan: A Non-Contact and Continuous Heart-Based User Authentication System – # Chen Song, # Lin Lin, Yan Zhuang, Wenyao Xu, Li Changzhi, Kui Ren (# Co-first author) 23rd ACM Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking Mobicom 2017

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