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Culture & Religion

Using Your Heartbeat As ID

Forget fingerprints: Technology is now available that can identify a person by their unique heartbeat. The one major challenge is getting people used to the idea.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

Electrocardiogram (ECG) biometrics is the science of identifying a person using their unique cardiac rhythm. By implanting thin sensors into a device, such as a smartphone, that can measure ECGs through fingertips, enough data can be recorded to allow a person to log into a system just as they would with any other password, code, or biometric. For more critical situations, such as airport security, the heartbeat ID could be used along with fingerprint scanners or other ID checks, but for other applications, such as key card access, it could very well be used alone. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Unlike many ID schemes currently on the drawing board, heartbeat IDs are ready for the market right now. The one challenge is getting customers up to speed, and then comfortable, with the idea of having their ECG measured via a sensor. Foteini Agrafioti, engineer and founder of a development company called Bionym, says, “Any device you hold with both hands, such as an iPad or smartphone, can all very much do ECG recognition…People have to see it first before they can trust it.” Her company is currently looking for partners.

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