Heartbeat

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Your Heartbeat as a Biological Key to Email, House, and Car

What's the Latest Development?

Rather than having a password to access your numerous online accounts and a key for your house and car, your heartbeat may one day allow you to enter all these locations. The familiar blip on an ECG machine which represents your heartbeat, known as a PQRST pattern, is determined by the size and shape of the heart and is therefore unique to each person. "Foteini Agrafioti of the University of Toronto and her colleagues have patented a system which constantly measures a person’s PQRST pattern, confirms this corresponds with the registered user’s pattern, and can thus verify to various devices that the user is who he says he is."

What's the Big Idea?

Through a company called Bionym, a wrist band has been developed which communicates the pattern of a person's heartbeat to portable electronic devices. "Biometric recognition systems, from hand geometry, via face recognition and fingerprints, to iris recognition, are becoming more common. But none has yet swept the board, partly for the reason Bionym found when it tried to get device-makers to put recognition hardware in their machines: manufacturers do not want the expense and hassle of doing that. Nymi gets rid of this problem." Individuals' hesitancy to wear a special wristband may be solved by a future generation of smart watches...

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at the Economist

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