Soon sound of your skull could replace your online passwords

Eerie : Now researchers working on making the sound in your skull replace your password

The search for ultimate hack proof access management tool is getting weirder as time goes. We have had researchers moving from fingerprint to iris scanning methods to look for most secure access. After that we have had researchers study ears, heartbeat, brain scan. Now the researchers are onto really eerie stuff, skull sounds.

Move over from face recognition, fingerprint sensor, and iris scanning methods to log into sites and apps. Now, there is a new novel method in the works to confirm your identity: the sound of your skull.

Researchers at the University of Stuttgart, the University of Saarland and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany are working on a new system called SkullConduct, an authentication system that uses a bone conduction speaker and mic on your head to identify you.

This system identifies the way your skull vibrates in reaction to an ultrasonic signal, because it could be just as unique as your fingerprint, meaning it can be used as a form of biometric identification. It could ultimately be used to prove you are who you say you are when logging into your email, or trying to gain access to the Pentagon.

Even though only a small sample size of 10 people tested the device, the team found that their system correctly identified its test subjects 97 percent of the time, based on their skull sounds alone.

The researchers are currently working on a Google Glass-style headset to measure skull vibrations, so that people could log onto online services without having to remember a password. The early signs are promising, as it captures the vibrations coming back to work out which head it’s on.

Finally, the required tech could be integrated into smartphones, so holding one to your head to take a call would be enough to identify you.

SkullConduct joins various other weird and wonderful biometric security solutions in development, including ones using vein patterns and brain waves. The idea is that these biological markers are much difficult to fake, in comparison to passwords that can be easily stolen.

“If recorded with a microphone, the changes in the audio signal reflect the specific characteristics of the user’s head,” the researchers report in the Journal of the ACM.

“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.”

However, there are a couple of problems to overcome before SkullConduct can become a viable proposition.

Firstly, the prototype was tested without any background noise, so making the system work effectively in an everyday environment will be the team’s next task. Secondly, the sound – some white noise – could also be annoying to users, and needs to be replaced with a short piece of music or a jingle, the researchers added.

The team from the University of Stuttgart, the University of Saarland, and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics will be presenting details on the SkillConduct at the Conference for Human-Computer Interaction in California in May.

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