Thursday, April 21, 2016

FutureWatch: Your Brain Will Replace Your Fingerprints for ID

Psychologists and engineers at Binghamton University in New York have hit a milestone in the quest to use the unassailable inner workings of your brain as a form of biometric identification. They came up with an electroencephalograph system that proved 100 percent accurate at identifying individuals by the way their brains responded to a series of images.

“It's a big deal going from 97 to 100 percent because we imagine the applications for this technology being for high-security situations,” says Sarah Lazlo, assistant professor of psychology at Binghamton who led the research with electrical engineering professor Zhanpeng Jin.

Perhaps only one other such experiment in the long quest for this ultimate biometric has hit the 100 percent mark, and the Binghamton system has some advantages over even that one. For one it proved itself with less complex equipment and in a larger group, identifying 50 people. But perhaps more importantly this new form of ID can do something fingerprints and retinal scans can’t: It can be “cancelled.” That’s important because hackers have shown that fingerprints can be stolen and faked. more