Future phones could be unlocked by monitoring brain waves

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Never mind Touch ID, this could be the best way of unlocking future phones.
Never mind Touch ID, this could be the best way of unlocking future phones.

Touch ID made unlocking your phone faster than previously, but you know what’s more secure than fingerprints as authentication? Brainwaves.

That’s according to Blair Armstrong of the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language in Spain, who feels that the most secure type of biometrics technology could one day involve measuring the brain response of individual tech users to various words or acronyms.

Armstrong discovered that participants’ brain responses to different words vary drammatically by recording the brain signals of 45 volunteers as they read a list of 75 acronyms, including ones like FBI and DVD. Although currently his system is just 94 percent accurate, it’s a promising start — and one that would make it much harder for thieves to hack than existing systems.

While it’s definitely interesting research, however, it’s unlikely to make it to the next iPhone any time soon. That’s not just because of the challenge with accuracy, but also the fact that in order to read brain signals it’s necessary to place electrodes on the scalp.

Progress is being made to make this process less invasive, but it’s highly unlikely that Apple would ask you to strap on a pair of electrodes every time you wanted to unlock your iPhone. For now we’ll have to make do with Touch ID sensors — which are reportedly set to work better than ever with this fall’s iPhone 6s.

Still fascinating research, though.

Source: New Scientist