Your Heart (h)as a Key!

Your Heart (h)as a Key!

Existing biometric techniques have several limitations, one of which being usability; the fingerprint requires the person to pass his/her finger through a reader, the voice requires the person to speak to a microphone, and the face and iris require the person to look into an image capture device. Other problems include the fact that they can’t tell whether the person is alive, they’re not practical for continuous recognition, and they can be easily fooled with artificial replicas such as pictures or photocopies. 

 A team of researchers at the IT – Instituto de Telecomunicações has been searching for new ways of addressing these problems, and they recently came up with what can be the right solution. Using a custom sensor design and advanced signal processing and pattern recognition techniques, the team has devised a patented system that uses Electrocardiographic (ECG) signals collected at the hand palms or fingers as the biometric template. The electrical activity of the heart has unique properties; these signals provide intrinsic aliveness detection, are related with the health and emotional station, and are continuously available. 

 The possibility to have ECG signals measured at the hand palms or fingers enables this technology to be integrated into virtually any object with which the person interacts. Examples include the remote control of a game station device, the steering wheel of a car, among many others, reason for which this novel approach can contribute to establish novel paradigms. The Vitalidi project, as it is called, aims at bringing continuous biometric recognition to your fingertips, and further information can be found at: http://www.vitalidi.com