Strap in, because your brain is going for a biometric identification ride. A technique that can tell people apart by their unique "brainprints" is reported to be 100 percent accurate.
Fingerprints, irises, and facial recognition software can't touch a new biometric identification that analyzes brainwaves.
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Scientists have been hot on the trail of brainprints for a while, but a collaboration at Binghamton University in New York is making this novel ID method seem less like sci-fi and more like a realistic high-tech security measure.
The approach, led by assistant professor of psychology Sarah Laszlo and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Zhanpeng Jin, is based on the premise that each person has unique memory and knowledge. That's not just a sweet cross-stitch pillow - it's quantifiable.
In order to develop their biometric identification protocol, called CEREBRE, the team had subjects each don an electroencephalograph headset that measured their brain responses to images.
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Then they flashed selected images from a set of 500 potential ones, KurzweilAI reported. They included photos of celebrities, pictures of food, and words like "conundrum" to elicit responses from multiple systems in the brain.
The protocol measured the resulting brain activity, which formed a unique brainprint. Although you'd think some of us would have identical reactions to a photo of Kim Kardashian, turns out that nobody in the study actually did.
Applying the CEREBRE protocol to a pool of 50 users, the researchers found it had 100 percent identification accuracy. An earlier version of the protocol created last year only had 97 percent accuracy. The team recently published details about the latest one in the journal IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security (abstract).
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Most past attempts at ‘brainprinting' were made by engineers, Laszlo says in a university video describing their approach. " collaboration has been really fruitful because it crosses cybersecurity and biometrics and cognitive neuroscience and psychology," she said. "I think it's why our brainprint protocol is more accurate and faster than any of the existing protocols." Here's the video: