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EEG signatures are the new fingerprint scans

Darren Murph

If you think (er, know) that fingerprint scanners just aren't up to snuff with your strict demands, a team of European scientists are developing a novel replacement for biometric security. Dimitrios Tzovaras and his colleagues at the Center for Research and Technology Hellas in Greece have established a system which relies on measured activity in the brain to form a security protocol that's "difficult to forge." Since electroencephalography (EEG) measurements are unique for every person, users begin by having their brain activity recorded and analyzed, producing an "EEG signature" which can then be used to allow or deny entry into buildings, data centers, or other top secret locales. The catch is that employees would be forced to walk around with a wired helmet on their noggin, which could "potentially chang the ambiance of the workplace" according to a researcher at the University of Cambridge. Notably, the method is just one of the security layers that are being scrutinized as a part of the Human Monitoring and Authentication using Biodynamic Indicators and Behavioral Analysis (HUMABIO) project going on in Europe, which aims to "combine several different biometrics to create a more efficient and secure overall system." Of course, there's still some kinks to be worked out, especially considering that brain patterns are extremely dependent on "alertness," and we seriously hope they develop a less invasive (and gaudy) alternative to forcing blokes to rock oddly-shaped headgear as a part of their job.

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