Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: CBS

Researchers can use the size of your heart to unlock a PC

You're the right user, Mr. Grinch.
439 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

CBS

Most biometric security has one inconvenience: you have to take an active step to sign in, whether it's putting your finger on a pad or staring at sensors. Wouldn't it be nice if simply being near your device was enough? It might happen. Researchers have created a computer authentication system that uses your heart's shape and size to sign in. It uses low-level Doppler radar to continuously scan your heart's dimensions, granting access so long as you're in the right place. In other words, Cindy-Lou Who couldn't hijack the Grinch's PC when he steps away for a coffee break.

As your heart doesn't change throughout your adult life outside of extreme situations (such as heart disease), it's as surefire as any other biometric sign-in method but works passively. It could even work at long distances, too. The team envisions airports using this to authenticate people up to 98 feet away, which is slightly creepy but undoubtedly convenient when you're rushing to your gate. And before you ask: the radar's strength is "much less" than that of WiFi, so you won't be torturing your heart simply to avoid typing in a password.

The team hopes to shrink its system to the point where it could sit inside the corner of a computer keyboard, and believes it could be useful for smartphones. That's promising, but there are security concerns. After all, American officials can already compel you to offer your fingerprint if you lock your phone with one. With heart scans, they wouldn't even need to do that much -- they'd just have to sit you in front of a device for as long as they want in. Still, the ease of this system could encourage people to adopt some kind of security method if they were skittish about adopting one before.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
439 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Mach-E leak reveals a lot about Ford's electric Mustang SUV

Mach-E leak reveals a lot about Ford's electric Mustang SUV

View
Amazon is challenging Microsoft's $10 billion JEDI contract victory

Amazon is challenging Microsoft's $10 billion JEDI contract victory

View
Microsoft is adding 10 'Final Fantasy' games to Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft is adding 10 'Final Fantasy' games to Xbox Game Pass

View
'West of Dead' is a fast-paced shooter starring Ron Perlman

'West of Dead' is a fast-paced shooter starring Ron Perlman

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr