What if no one could ever break into your smart phone and/or use it without your permission? What if your smart phone could ask you a question and you held it up to your head for a quick brain scan – and by way of thought, it identified that “it must be you” and thus, unlocked all the features for you? I think this technology will be possible in the future, and let me tell you why I say that.
You see, there was a very interesting article in re:ID in the Summer 2013 issue titled; “Next Gen Biometric Brain Waves” which discussed how neuroscientists and computer scientists have been working with brain waves and borrowed some concepts from the wireless prosthesis where the user can merely think about moving their artificial limb and it then moves as the special hat they are wearing senses what they are asking for. Well, it turns out this can also be used as a biometric security feature like a retina scan, finger print, voice print, or FRT (facial recognition technology).
In the article the user wants to get access to a facility or log onto a computer, so the user puts on this brain cap, and the system asks a question, the user then thinks about the answer to the question and the cap watches where those thought patterns light up on the fMRI quick scan. Since everyone formats their brains a different way, the scientists have got it down to about 1% error, meaning it is pretty darn fool proof.
What about identical twins?
Yes, good question and that could be tricky if both twins have had similar experiences and thus, formatted and stored information in the exact same way. Chances are good that they have, therefore the error rates could be higher I suppose. The reason I bring this up is that an acquaintance asked me this question as I explained this scheme and new technology to her.
Indeed, I thought that was an interesting question because if you watch the movie “Eagle Eye” one of the themes in the movie was that one of the identical twins no longer living was thought to have been a questionable throughout the movie by one of the other main characters. So, it’s not as if these sorts of concerns amongst spy novelists, science fiction writers, and security professionals have been considered. Therefore this technology may need a bit of fine-tuning but suffice it to say at 1% error rate they have come a long way in a very short amount of time so, I would expect this technology for security purposes to be more common in years to come.
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