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Feb 13, 2012

Your Heartbeat Could Be Your Password

A technology in the works might soon allow you to unlock your hard drive by simply touching your keyboard. Your unique heartbeat, emitted through your fingertip, would be your password.

Chun-Liang Lin and his team at the National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan translated a human heartbeat into an encryption key using an electrocardiograph reading from an individual's palm. Their unique series of thump-thumpa generated a secret key.

The part that blows my mind is that your heartbeat is so unique that that pattern never actually repeats. You will never get the same exact timing of beats twice. So the encryption scheme is based on the math behind chaos theory, which dictates that outcomes are highly sensitive to initial conditions, leading to widely divergent outcomes (it's sometimes referred to as the butterfly effect). The research will appear in an upcoming issue of Information Sciences. If they're going to create a product, they better hurry up if they want to beat Apple, where engineers seem to have been working on something similar since at least 2010. More here.

I had no idea heartbeats could be so unique! Somehow the whole idea has awoken the romantic in me. Happy Valentines Day everybody!

19 comments:

crowbloke said...

wow, i never would have guessed it.

Dreadnaught said...

Ill stick to my 64 character password

YeamieWaffles said...

That's actually amazing. Like tbh I can see it taking a long time to actually make this technology efficient but eventually I think they will be.

Lot's Wife said...

Does it respond to the magical laws of true love? Wherein two lovers share a heartbeat? That might be bad.

Ben Ditty said...

Ian Malcolm would be all over this!

KLJ said...

That... is really damn cool!!!

Cranky and Difficult said...

I already have a scan of my retinas ready.

Jenny Woolf said...

Nice valentines post! I didn't know heartbeats were unique either.

Zyu said...

Oh wow, I'm not sure if I welcome that.

Al Penwasser said...

I'd be afraid my heartbeat would open a porn site.

Shockgrubz said...

It'd be very disappointing if when I finally got to a huge boss fight in a game, that my laptop decided to lock up because my heartbeat decided to skip a few encrypted beats.

R.gers said...

It sounds a bit silly to be honest, though I guess it could be quite safe. Since you can't really get someone to open those doors if you're dead. :)

Astra said...

what about people who have irregualr hearts or hypertension etc?

R said...

Sounds awesome!

Ty-shaun Aristoph Coles said...

Damn! I have to update my passwords every other hour because of this post!

O, yeah, I am nowww following you.

sm said...

interesting research heartbeat as a password.

BigOryx said...

this heartbeat thing is scary...
happy v-day

Arion said...

I'm actually quite interested in this. I won't have to worry about passwords anymore.

Dmarie said...

wow, they just keep raising the bar!!