iPhone sweat? ‘SWEAT’ ID could one day be used for smartphone security | Science | News


Researchers suggest that our “sweat prints” are so unique that they could be used to better secure our smartphone devices.

This is because amino acids provide our sweat with an entirely unique biological design.

Assistant Professor Jan Halamek at the University at Albany, who co-authored a study into the possibility, said: “We are developing a new form of security that could completely change the authentication process.

“Using sweat as an identifier cannot be easily mimicked/hacked by potential intruders. It’s close to foolproof.”

“The sequence of the unlocking mechanism will be based on complex biological systems that cannot be ascertained by anyone other than the device’s owner.”

The bizarre technique could be available in as little as “five to 10 years” adds Prof Halamek.

Any device which has the “sweat recognition” software would work by undergoing a “monitoring period” where the device would measure the user’s sweat levels at random points throughout the day.

The device would then gain an accurate print of the users metabolites – small molecules – and could be opened when the owner holds or wears the equipment.

The study was released after news broke that hackers took just 10 days to bypass the iPhone X’s security features, which uses facial recognition software.

Prof Halamek added: “The current forms of authentication have proven to be less than ideal.

“Passwords and pins can easily be seen over someone’s shoulder and there are many internet tutorials on how to create a fingerprint mould that is capable of opening a device. 

“There are also issues with facial recognition, which often times does not work correctly.”



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