Smart phones, tablets, gaming consoles and other devices may soon recognise their owners at a touch. The gadgets will identify users by measuring their heartbeats through their fingertips.
“ECG biometrics identifies people by their cardiac rhythm,” Foteini Agrafioti, an engineer at the University of Toronto, who developed a version of the technology and started a company, Bionym, to market it, said.
“Not just their heart rate, but the actual shape of their heart beat,” he added.
Such a heart beat ID, embedded into a phone or tablet, could lock out unauthorised users or bring up individuals’ saved preferences on a shared device, researchers who studied the technology said.
Heartbeats could be a secure alternative or supplement to more established biological ID measures, such as fingerprints. And unlike some futuristic identification schemes, heartbeat IDs are technologically ready to go..
Recently, researchers have developed cheap, thin sensors that are able to measure ECGs through the fingertips.
People just need to touch the sensors for a few seconds, using one finger from each hand.