Researchers using skull sounds for identity verification

April 25, 2016 - 

A team of researchers have developed an authentication method for wearable computer users that listens to the unique sound of the wearer’s skull, according to a report by Gizmodo.

The authentication method — which is designed for wearables such as Google Glass or VR goggles — would use an integrated bone conduction speaker to amplify an ultrasonic signal into the user’s skull.

The device’s microphone would then record precisely how that signal sounded after being reflected inside the individual’s head. This unique sound could then be used to authenticate a registered user.

The biometric authentication method was developed by a team of researchers from various Germany-based institutions including University of Stuttgart, Saarland University, and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics.

In one particular controlled experiment that involved 10 different participants who were able to take the wearables on and off as they wished, the devices successfully recognized their correct owners 97 percent of the time.

Though the authentication method is far from being fully developed, it has shown significant potential during testing in its current research phase.

If the technology is successfully developed, users would be able to verify their identity and unlock their phone by simply holding the device against their head as though they were taking a call.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.