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Researchers are using the vibration of your skull to identify you

Researchers are using the vibration of your skull to identify you

Stefan Schneegass, Youssef Oualil, Andreas Bulling

Conventional passwords are marching to their death, and biometric authentication might be the future, especially with the possibility of widespread fingerprint scanning or facial-recognition technology. And now, researchers in Germany have a new way to give users access to their devices. Their technique, which they call "SkullConduct," relies on the unique way sound passes through each person's skull. Every skull modifies sound differently, and the researchers measured those minute differences to use as an authentication system.

The researchers took 10 participants and put them in a silent room. They recorded skull vibration samples by having them each wear a modified Google Glass that played white noise. The Google Glass application records sound as it plays and converts the data it gathers into a byte file. Each participants's skull vibration sample was recorded 10 times, which the researchers then used to test whether the Google Glass could correctly identify them. The system correctly recognized users 97 percent of the time.

The system correctly identified users 97 percent of the time

The researchers stipulate that their test didn't take into account background noise, like a subway's roar or people chatting nearby. They also say weight gain or hair growth could alter results. Though they're not at 100 percent just yet, it could be cool if our skulls were used for biometric authentication. That is, if people ever legitimately start wearing Google Glass and eyewear computers.