Introducing Bodyprint, lend your ear….
Mobile phones now store a manifold of sensitive user data, such as photos, emails as well as login credentials to access personal data on the web, including finances and shopping portals. To protect such data from theft and unauthorized access, mobile devices implement lock screens to verify the user’s identity and authenticate their use of the device.
Lock screens commonly ask the user to enter a PIN to unlock. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of mobile phone users actually protect their device using a PIN. A commonly cited reason is that PIN codes impede convenience and ease of access. Graphical passwords ease the memorization and entry of PIN codes, but are subject to eavesdropping and find only limited acceptance. The iPhone, the Galaxy S6, and a few other high price smartphones have fingerprint sensors for extra security, and authorization of payments; but the tech is expensive, and therefore hasn’t reached mainstream, lower cost devices yet.
A team of researchers at Yahoo Labs have developed Bodyprint, a biometric authentication system which uses your phone’s touchscreen as the scanner to unlock the phone. Only it’s not for fingerprints and other parts of the hand but, it’s also for ears. Yahoo Labs’ Bodyprint utilizes the device’s existing touchscreen and so doesn’t need an extra and expensive fingerprint sensor as found in the other smartphones. The images taken by the touch-screen are of lower resolution but still work effectively, Yahoo Labs said.
“In our evaluation with 12 participants, Bodyprint classified body parts with 99.98 per cent accuracy and identified users with 99.52 per cent accuracy,” the team said in a blog post.
As well as ears, the systems works with fists, knuckles, fingers and palms and creates a low-resolution image unique to each user.In future it could be used not only to unlock phones but also to lock or unlock files and replace PIN code entries.
Bodyprint uses the touchscreen’s capacitive sensor in place of a dedicated fingerprint sensor, and doesn’t need any additional hardware, or special sensors to work. This means it could be easily integrated into any phone with a capacitive screen — and that’s almost every phone sold today.