As the age of information and technology gets stronger and vaster, so does the need for us to have passwords. Online banking, Facebook profiles, Reverbnation accounts, Online tax services, it seems that the internet has become a pivotal part of our society and the need to protect these accounts is also very important. Identity theft is on the rise with more and more people each year getting their accounts hacked into and their bank accounts wiped now. But now biometric security is taking the humble password, from the fingerprint sensor on some smartphones, to advanced iris scanning. Now, there’s even a new method of password protection, the sound of your skull.
German scientists are currently working on a system that is able to identify the way your skull vibrates in reaction to an ultrasonic signal, because this vibration could be just as unique as your fingerprint. Eventually, it could be used to prove your identity when logging into your email, or even trying to gain access to the Pentagon. According Andrew Liszewski from Gizmodo, this new system is able to identify the correct user 97 percent of the time, solely based on the sound of their skull. Albeit, they only used a small sample size of 10 people to test the device.
In order to properly measure skull vibrations, of course you will need some kind of headset or accessory, and currently researchers are working with a Google Glass-style device to gain access. Eventually, this required technology could be incorporated into smartphones, so holding one to your head to pick up a phone call could be enough to identify you. The name for this new technology is SkullConduct, and it also joins many other very weird and wonderful biometric security solutions currently in development. Some of these oddities include using vein patterns and brain waves. The whole idea being, that these biological markers are much harder to fake, whereas if someone gets a hold of your password that’s pretty much the end of the story.
“If recorded with a microphone, the changes in the audio signal reflect the specific characteristics of the user’s head. Since the structure of the human head includes different parts such as the skull, tissues, cartilage, and fluids and the composition of these parts and their location differ between users, the modification of the sound wave differs between users as well,” the researchers published in their study. But there are a few hurdles that must be overcome before mass production can happen. The system needs to be able to screen out background noise, and also the the device currently uses a white noise trigger so there will need to be something less grating to ears down the line of development. But whenever all of the kinks are worked out, it is an almost certainty that this device will spark a whole new wave of technology.