Will Heartbeats be the Passwords of the Future?

Passwords. They’re a pain to remember, a hassle to reset, and frighteningly easy to hack. With this in mind, a team of researchers in Taiwan aim to create a safe and easy way for users to log into secure devices. However, the researchers aren’t relying on letters, numbers, and crazy characters to generate a secure password. They’re not relying on passwords at all. Instead, researchers hope to use the human heartbeat to grant user access.

With the help of an electrocardiograph, or ECG, Chun-Liang Lin and his team at the National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan have successfully translated a human heartbeat into a secret encryption key. It seems every human heartbeat has a unique pattern and people could theoretically unlock a password-protected document or device by touching the keyboard and emitting their unique pattern through their fingertips. The human heart doesn’t repeat patterns, so Lin and the gang developed an encryption scheme based on the mathematics of chaos theory (sounds complicated).

According to New Scientist, Lin’s goal is to create external hard drives and other devices that can be decrypted and encrypted with the touch of a finger. Apple is reportedly working on similar technology.

Chun-Liang Lin’s research will appear in the journal Information Sciences.

Sources: Gizmodo, New Scientist

Photo: morgueFile/imelenchon

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Categories: Gadgets and Gizmos

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