Will We Be Able To Unlock Our Smartphones With A Heartbeat In The Future?
Researchers from France have developed a new system that allows users to unlock their smartphones with a heartbeat. For the so-called HoldPass, they have to hold their phone in their hand.
Unlocking smartphones using Face ID has been common practice for several years. Since face recognition has been on the market, it has been one of the favourite biometric security devices.
Despite this, hackers keep trying to crack existing authentication systems. IT specialists and scientists worldwide are constantly working on new methods to protect our devices even better against unauthorised access.
So did a research group from the University of Toulouse in France. They invented the HoldPass system, which allows smartphones to be unlocked simply by the user’s heartbeat. All you have to do is hold it in your hand.
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Unlock Your Smartphone With A Heartbeat: This Is How HoldPass Works
HoldPass is based on what is known as ballisto cardiography. It measures the heart rate based on the mechanical body vibrations from the heart movement.
The team from the University of Toulouse uses this technique for their new unlocking system. The heartbeat is used as a biometric feature. The cardiac cycle directs a vibration through the body, which is transmitted to the smartphone via the hand.
HoldPass can capture and process the vibrations of the hand caused by the heart. And this is with the help of the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors built into standard cell phones. Thus, the smartphone reacts directly to the heart activity of the person holding it in their hands.
HoldPass Is Still In The Development Phase
While heart activity has already been used for biometric authentication, capturing the heartbeat via handheld ballistocardiography using standard sensors found on commercially available mobile phones is still new territory.
The problem with this: Authentication by vibrating the hand is possible, but the signal is weak. According to the researchers, it is also difficult to tailor the vibration specifically to unlocking a smartphone. After all, the heart is constantly beating, and our hands are also in constant motion.
HoldPass faces the dual challenge of identifying relevant features that can be used to distinguish a user that is a) orientation-free and b) can be computed in real-time on a smartphone.
However, the research group also claims that HoldPass as an authentication method is very accurate if it can be used in a targeted manner.
HoldPass Isn’t The First Such Method
Chinese researchers have also suggested using the heartbeat as a biometric feature for authentication. To do this, users must place their smartphones on their chests. But that’s precisely what the French group wants to do with HoldPass.
In turn, scientists from the University of New South Wales in Australia developed the VeinDeep system. Infrared depth sensors read the unique vein patterns on the back of a person’s hand, unlocking the smartphone. Since face recognition has been on the market, it has been one of the favourite biometric security devices. According to the researchers, it is also difficult to tailor the vibration specifically to unlocking a smartphone.
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