Generating a secure and unique password has always been incredibly challenging to most consumers. Password reuse is one of the worst things to do, as there is no reason to make life easier for the average criminal on the internet. An Australian company is looking to turn the way we walk into a unique form of authentication. An interesting idea, but it won’t be easy to make it work.
Walking Mannerism As A Password
It is certainly true every human being on the planet has their own walk. While some people have a more obvious swagger than others while walking around, it is something to take note of the next time you’re out and about. According to Australia’s Data61, the way we walk can effectively be used as a unique authentication method. It may not necessarily replace passwords anytime soon, but the concept has gained some initial support already.
To be more specific, the company developed a tiny wearable prototype that records the way we walk. It is also capable of capturing the kinetic energy created by moving around. This small device monitors the pattern of power generation caused by one’s gait. Although most people don’t notice it, the kinetic energy created by walking around can fluctuate quite a bit.
It is believed this information can be turned into a unique signature of some sorts. This would be quite interesting, as additional authentication solutions are never a bad thing. Most people are used to authenticate their identity in one way or another, mostly through fingerprints. This new device can come up with a unique signature that does not require anything special from the user, other than moving around a bit. It is a healthy solution as well, that much is evident.
What makes this prototype even more intriguing is how it can store kinetic energy in the form of backup power. The stored power can then be used to power mobile devices in the future. This is an entirely new spin on power banks and battery packs. Data61 researchers are onto something if they can successfully pull off this venture. For now, the device is still being tested, as only 20 different subjects have experimented with this prototype so far.
What is rather remarkable is how the authentication part of the device is 95% accurate during these early trials. That is quite significant for something that uses one’s gait as an authentication method. Moreover, generating a false positive only occurred 10% of the time, which shows there is still some refining to be done in the future.
It is evident such a solution will always be superior compared to using passwords and even PIN codes for authentication purposes. It is virtually impossible to mimic the way another person walks. It is always possible to get lucky and bypass such a form of authentication, although this project doesn’t make it easy by any means. It is possible Data61 will work on other physical authentication options in the future, although nothing has been confirmed at this point.
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