Researchers in Germany just announced the use of sound technology called “SkullConduct”, and it is being billed as a way to get rid of conventional passwords by using biometric authentication instead.
With an already early 97% success rate, SkullConduct can identify each and every one of us by the unique way bone conducts sound through each person’s skull. Bone conduction has already been implemented as a sound transmission technology in several consumer devices like Bluetooth, bone anchored hearing aids, and specialized communication systems designed for things like diving or loud environments.
Only in its infancy, SkullConduct currently relies on modified Google Glass eyewear equipped with a speaker. Using Gaussian white noise, chosen because it covers all frequency bands that may be affected by a person’s unique skull characteristics, the team passes these sound waves through the skull using said speaker. The unique differences in the frequencies that come back are then picked up by a mic and analyzed in real time using the onboard computer found in Google Glass. With this unique biometric marker, our heads will effectively take the place of all conventional passwords.
While at a glance this seems like a great way to keep us safer, the dubious and/or more intrusive applications for this technology far outweigh the benefits.
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