Researchers are working with “brainprints” to create the ultimate password. The unique patterns of your brain activities could become your next and unhackable passwords. Do you tend to forget your passwords? Or even which finger you’ve used for your fingerprint identification? What if your computer could be unlocked by scanning your brain? This is actually possible because your brain always reacts the same way to specific words – and it’s not just theoretical anymore: Spanish and British researchers have successfully tested the possibility of brainprints and paved the way for this new technology.
How do brainprints work?
Blair C. Armstrong who is a scientific researcher and his colleagues from the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain, and Language (BCBL) conducted the test on 45 people. Already back in 2015 they detected that the brain of these probands reacted to the same words differently. For their tests, they’ve used abbreviations such as “DVD” or “FBI”. The different reactions of the test person brains allowed the system to identify the identity of the test persons with a success rate of 94 percent. The team focused on the part of the brain which is responsible for recognition and reading words.
New Scientist, a platform for new technologies, suggests in their article that this tech could be a viable option for security systems. If brain waves allow the identification of an individual then the ultimate password might have been found. But: Even though a success rate of 94% might sound good, it’s not secure enough to actually use the technology to protect a computer or a room. It does however sound like a promising beginning.
In 2016 a study by Sarah Laszlo, who’s a researcher at the Binghamton University, was released. In it she describes that her research team managed to reach an identification rate of 100 percent. They achieved this by measuring the brain waves of 50 people who had to look through 500 pictures each. This included pictures of things like a ship, the word conundrum, a piece of pizza, or a picture of Anne Hathaway.
It’s not the first time that researchers try to use unique brain waves in their experiments as potential parameters to authenticate individuals. According to New Scientist, this kind of biometric authentification wouldn’t allow identifying a person for a password request only though – it also would also allow a permanent surveillance.
Although this technology looks promising it’s still in its infancy. But as soon as brainprints become ready for the market they will most likely succeed against conventional fingerprints or iris scans – this password can’t be stolen after all, right? Currently, you still need some electrodes or similar tools to measure the brain waves of a subject. Nonetheless: This technology will most likely change our perception and the field of application for biometrics in general. In the upcoming years you can expect more exciting news in this area.