Your Heartbeat Could Be Your Password

Illustration for article titled 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.

I had no idea heartbeats could be so unique! Somehow the whole idea has awoken the romantic in me. Happy Valentines Day everybody! [New Scientist via Dvice]


The exact same can be done with fingerprints much more easily. And yet, nobody is doing it.