Soon you will be able to sign-in with your heartbeat rather than your finger print

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As Geoff said last week, people are pretty lazy when it comes to creating secure passwords. It seems convenience is more of a need than personal security is for most people. That’s why there is so much research that goes into finding ways of providing secure authentication for one to access their personal information. Passwords thart don’t require remembering a 36 character password with strange symbols. Or I’m just old – but hey, we shouldn’t need to struggle to prove that we are who we are – right?

The focus on biometrics has been the key driver for this, from finger print and retina scanning to facial or voice recognition technology that makes it easy for all the different protection systems to identify you. Based on this new technology reported in Computer World about research at Birmingham State University in New York, you should be able to start using your heartbeat as a means of identification as well.

Considering many wearable devices already track the wearer’s heart-rate, it makes sense to build this technology into these devices as a means of also providing authentication. According to the report the benefits of heartbeat authentication is that it is even more unique than a fingerprint. Another potential benefit is battery life, as it requires less energy to process a heartbeat on a wearable than to go through layers of encryption. One thing that is an obvious concern is the irregularity of a person’s heartbeat when a person is nervous or tired which could factor into this.

I would hate to not be able to access my bank account in an emergency and it won’t let me because I’m freaking out. Although, I could see huge benefits in the workplace where your computer won’t let you log in if you’re too stressed. That could force them to give you time off to de-stress yourself – or head off for a liquid lunch.

In truth, this technology is probably not going to replace current forms of authentication, but perhaps could be used alongside others to create a multi-factor authentication. For instance, the Nymi band can already use some form of heartbeat authentication alongside Apple’s Touch ID to create a biometric key that can be used for authentication purposes. If you can use heartbeat authentication alongside retina scanning, finger print scanning or one of the other authentication methods, it simply provides more security while also an alternative should your hands be sweaty or you just went for a run.

It’s probably still a long way before the world perfects biometrics while ensuring your profile remain completely secure – but every little bit helps, and a future where we won’t need to worry about these endless pesky passwords could be upon us soon.

Last Updated: January 23, 2017

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

  • HvR

    * people are pretty lazzy when it comes to creating secure passwords

    • Original Heretic

      I miss being a lazzy… So much more descriptive of how I truly am. On the inside.

  • Original Heretic

    Ass scans should be a thing. All anuses are unique. And nobody wants to touch your ass login screen.

    • PurplePariah

      Yeah but I’m not touching my phone after it’s been between my buttocks.

      • HvR

        I’m not shoving a big ass smartphone up there in the first place

        • PurplePariah

          That is what I was implying, yeah.

        • Original Heretic

          Pun intended?

          • HvR

            🙂

        • MonsterCheddar

          • Hammersteyn

            Q. How do I load airtime?
            A. Prunes

          • HvR

            Same way as you do now, you bend over ask for more please

      • Original Heretic

        It’s not ideal, but damn, it’d be hilarious watching people unlock their phones.

        Well, at first. Then it’d just become normal.
        Damn, what kind of world have I proposed?!?!?

        • Hammersteyn

          a smelly one?

          • PurplePariah

            Daily enemas becoming part of the showering routine.

          • Original Heretic

            There are more implications. And my mind is unfortunately venturing down that rabbit hole.

            Oh god, I said hole…

        • HvR

          One where Nokia will be revived as the top selling phonemaker

      • Hammersteyn

        I’d rather turn the other cheek

    • Hammersteyn
      • PurplePariah

        XD

    • HvR
      • Hammersteyn

        Daar’s my papa, hy wag vir my!

        • Original Heretic

          Is hy die een met die passion-gap?

          • Hammersteyn

            Sal jou vanaand se na inspeksie

      • Original Heretic

        Is that dude with a candle a miner or a deep ass surveyor?

        • Hammersteyn

          Those two might be the same thing O_o

        • HvR

          Hy soek die charger

  • Hammersteyn

    So to login people will need to drop a beat?

  • I came for the article. I stayed for the comments xD

    • PurplePariah

      ^ CriticalHit in a nutshell.

    • HvR

      Craig Risi’s comment section took a Critical Hit in the poofter valve

      • Original Heretic

        It’s my first day back at work, in the office with some serious people.

        And this comment almost made me laugh so loudly that I might emit moving air from the aforemention poofter valave (valve?).

    • Hammersteyn

      What was the article about again? 😛

    • Original Heretic

      A buttload of blame is on me for this one. I started that shit with one almost-innocuous comment.

  • “That could force them to give you time off to de-stress yourself – or head off for a liquid lunch.”

    I would brush my teeth in redbull, I would cook my food in redbull and I would make my coffee with redbull!

  • konfab

    One of the problems I forsee is when this tech fails.

    I don’t exactly worry that my finger isn’t working because it doesn’t process the payment for coffee. If the beat detection fails, people will think that their heart has a problem.

    You would be also be able to hack this system pretty easily.
    All you would need is a good ECG signature of a person is to have them hold an electrode in each hand. This would be as easy as putting an electrode on each side of a victim’s steering wheel.
    Once you have their ecg, you would be able to fool any sensor that reads it by “playing” it on a loop on your body using some stick on electrodes and a cellphone.

    • Hammersteyn

      Or taser a person with a pacemaker

    • Original Heretic

      Didn’t they do something similar in that movie Gattaca?

      And see, just proves my point below. Ass scans are necessary.
      I should patent it now, it’s gonna be a thing.

      • HvR

        And its gone

        • Original Heretic

          Should I have shouted “FORE” before I did that?

      • konfab

        I think Leon Schuster already did it.
        https://youtu.be/0Me0d7NrWwY?t=340

        • Original Heretic

          But he didn’t patent it, he just mocked it.

          I’m onto something here…I know I am…

          • HvR

            Well strictly speaking Schuster suggested the using the arbor vitea.

            Which should work with current fingerprint technology if it is extended.

          • Original Heretic

            Suggested, didn’t patent.
            The patent is key!

          • konfab

            Patents require that there is not public knowledge of the intellectual property in question.

          • Original Heretic

            Curses!! Foiled again!

    • HvR

      yeah a comment about the article

      • Original Heretic

        Hey now, my initial comment WAS about the article. A bit off-kilter, for sure, but about the article, nevertheless.

  • Craig “Crios” Boonzaier

    Wouldn’t work for me.
    My days are a bit erratic by nature of what I work on, if I don’t have at least one “Oh Shit!” moment I assume something really bad has gone wrong.

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