Mouth biometrics – the next trend in user identity authentication?
Four design graduates from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London have come up with an innovative wearable that allegedly replaces fingerprints and facial recognition with mouth biometrics for identity authentication, writes de zeen.
With their tech project, Beren Kayali, Lu Ye, Paul Mendieta and Lea Marolt Sonnenschein hope to reduce the vulnerability linked to manual passwords, as well as prevent hackers from spoofing biometrics that are “out-in-the-open.” Dubbed Stealth, the device would be “hidden in the mouth” and resembles dental wire retainers. It would be placed on the roof of the mouth and would identify an individual based on the unique pattern of the mouth’s palate.
The gadget scans pre-stored biometrics to make sure the same individual is wearing it. To unlock a device, a one-time code is sent via internet to the user to then perform a pre-stored sensory gesture with the tongue.
“Within an authentication system, the human element is one of the weakest links. The current authentication methods and interfaces for access control are not resilient enough in the era of surveillance,” the designers told the publication. “Passwords are vulnerable to data breaches and shoulder-surfing by people or camera surveillance. They are also hard to manage, leading to significant numbers of compromises by careless insiders. That’s why more and more companies are moving towards biometrics. However, people leave traces of biometrics easily and unconsciously everywhere, which makes them less reliable if they are targeted and forged.”
The team claims tongue print, teeth, palate rugae and saliva are better biometrics for identifying people because another person does not have immediate access to copy them, and they are less likely to repeat in other family members across generations.
In-mouth data collection is possible through a mix of methods such as biometrics, temperature, humidity and pressure combined with an AI algorithm. The device can also send digitally simulated tastes to the mouth to notify about calls or messages.
“It could be the most symbiotic and robust identification system of our generation,” they said. “The overarching vision of this project is a future in which we can create a second skin inside the mouth to be used as an interface.”
Another project they are working on is the use of saliva as a biomarker for diseases. For now, they registered to patent the mouth gadget’s design and are working on a prototype.