The days of your regular user names and passwords are coming to an end soon. Different companies now try to come up with innovative means of identifying the legitimate owner of a device, weeks ago NEC came up with a bio-metric technology which uses sound to identify someone. This is necessary since the combination of usernames and passwords isn’t really secure as it used to be.
That been said, biometric authentication might be the future, researchers in Germany now have a new means of giving users access to their devices which is through the vibrations your skull makes as sound passes through it. You might not know this, but every skull modifies sound differently, the researches uses those minute sound differences as an authentication system. This new technique is called “SkullConduct,” and according to researchers, could be as unique as a fingerprint.
10 participant were chosen by the researchers and put in a silent room, they were made to wear a modified Google Glass that played some form of noise (white noise), from which skull vibration samples were recorded. As the sound plays, the Google Glass application records it and converts the data it gathers into a byte file. The researchers recorded each participant’s skull vibration 10 times, and used this to test whether the Google Glass could correctly identify them. According to the researchers it correctly identified the wearer 97 percent of the time. Google Glass was used because it seemed convenient since it is placed on your head, this system seem to have potential for devices worn on the head, like the VR headsets or any form of eye wear computers.
The researchers added that the test didn’t take into account background noise, in essence this could be a hindrance, so the system needs to be taught on how to cut out background noise, also they said weight gain or hair growth could alter results. Researchers are also working on replacing the existing white noise with a sound that is less provocative.
“We presented SkullConduct, a biometric system that exploits the characteristic frequency response of the human skull for user identification and authentication on eyewear computers equipped with bone conduction technology, such as Google Glass. While other biometric systems require the user to enter information explicitly (e.g., place the finger on a fingerprint reader), our system does not require any explicit user input. We implemented our system on Google Glass and evaluated its performance in a controlled user study with 10 participants. We demonstrated that our approach works well and can identify users with 97.0% accuracy as well as an EER of 6.9%.”
Wouldn’t it be cool if your skull was used for bio-metric authentication? Here’s a link (PDF) if you want to check out the details in full.
White noise refers to a steady, unvarying, unobtrusive sound, as an electronically produced drone or the sound of rain, used to mask or obliterate unwanted sounds.