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Will “Brainprints” Be The Security Measure Of The Future?

Two researches are experimenting with another way to use technology to distinguish between people for security purposes. The technology decides who people are based on their personal preferences by reading their brainwaves. The device will know who an individual is based on whether they prefer pepperoni pizza or sushi and other similar individual desires. Want to unlock your house doors? Sure thing just think of a specific pre-set pattern and voila, open sesame.

Creators Sarah Lazlo and Zhanpeng Jin are calling it a brainprint and they’re saying it could potentially improve security. In a test group of 32 people they had a 97% success rate to find the individual person based on their responses. When they did the test for a second time with 30 people, the success rate was 100%.

The brain activity of people wearing this headset device attached to electromagnetic sensors is measured while being shown hundreds of pictures designed to cause a specific reaction differentiating from an individual to individual. Shown images ranged from pictures that would appeal to people; things like chocolate, a beach scene, an attractive person based on the sex of the tester. The testers only viewed the images for a second, but long enough for the device to record their brain responses.

Every tester is going to have a precise and unique reaction to an image. This makes it possible to identify any person wearing the device with incredible accuracy.

To those familiar with a fingerprint scanner used to gain access to places where you have to practice security measures, this is a very similar technique. Both devices use patterns that are specific for each person. As fingerprints are unique to each person, so are the brainwaves when a person reacts to an image.

The goal was to create technology that was as much fool-proof as possible, making sure that anyone couldn’t just manipulate and take an advantage of it. That is a part of what makes this potential piece of equipment such a positive invention.

Another thing that makes brain biometrics so tempting as a security feature is the fact that it automatically clears the information it has gathered about the user after he stops using the device. It is set up so that a thief couldn’t track the information and use it against someone. It is looking like even in a situation where a criminal is forcing an innocent individual into trying to use the technology, they couldn’t because the technology only works when a person uses their brain to think and if a person is terrified they aren’t going to think clearly. So it won’t work correctly in such situations.

About the author

Warren Simons