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Technology turns touchscreen displays into biometric scanners

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A team of researchers from Yahoo Labs has developed a much affordable alternative to fingerprint sensors for phones. It's a biometric system called "Bodyprint," and it only needs devices' capacitive touchscreen displays to authenticate body parts. Since displays have lower input resolution compared to specialized sensors, the system requires you to use larger parts of your body. It can recognize your ear, fist, phalanges, set of five fingers and your palm -- simply press any of them on the screen for access. In addition to serving as your phone's gatekeeper, it has a number of other potential applications, as well.

For instance, you can program the system to answer calls only when it detects your ear pressed against the phone. You can also use it to lock documents and keep them away from prying eyes. Bodyprint, which was recently demoed at the 2015 Computer-Human Interaction Conference (CHI) in Seoul, accurately identified body parts and their owners 99.98 percent of the time during a small test comprised of 12 subjects. But we're guessing its creators, Christian Holz and his team, will need to test it on a wider scale before anybody can use it on a commercial device.

Make sure to watch the system in action below:

[Thanks, Christian]

Engadget’s parent company, Verizon, now owns Yahoo. Engadget remains editorially independent.

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