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Forget your password: The future is ‘passthoughts’

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Posted April 9, 2013
Other than the EEG sensor, the headset is indistinguishable from a conventional Bluetooth headset.

Other than the EEG sensor, the headset is indistinguishable from a conventional Bluetooth headset.

Instead of typing your password, in the future you may only have to think your password, according to School of Information researchers. A new study explores the feasibility of brainwave-based computer authentication as a substitute for passwords.

The project was led by School of Information professor John Chuang, along with Hamilton Nguyen, an undergraduate student in electrical engineering and computer science; Charles Wang, a first-year I School MIMS student; and Benjamin Johnson, formerly a postdoctoral scholar at the I School. Chuang presented the team’s findings this week at the 2013 Workshop on Usable Security at the Seventeenth International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security in Okinawa, Japan.

Since the 1980s, computer scientists have proposed the use of biometrics for computer authentication. Systems requiring fingerprint scans, retina scans, or facial or voice recognition are far more secure than passwords, since fingerprints are hard to forget and harder to steal. But such systems are also slow, intrusive, and expensive. Biometric authentication has never gained wide acceptance; other than a few high-security settings, it remains more science fiction than science fact.

Read more at: Phys.org

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