As you may know, your fingerprints aren’t your only unique identifier on your body. Your iris pattern, your butthole print and even your heart beat could be used to positively identify you from anyone else on the planet. In the future, it could be your heartbeat, not a password or a pin code, that could keep your data safe. As far as the butthole print scanner, I’m working on that. Hush hush.
Our heartbeats follow an irregular pattern that never quite repeats and that is unique to everyone. Chun-Liang Lin at the National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan, and colleagues used an electrocardiograph (ECG) to extract the unique mathematical features underlying this pattern. They then used the information to generate a secret key that forms part of an encryption scheme based on the mathematics of chaos theory, by which small changes in initial conditions lead to very different outcomes.
As a proof of concept, Lin’s system currently takes the user’s ECG reading from each palm once, and a key based on that reading is stored and used for all later decryptions. He says the goal is to build the system into external hard drives and other devices that can be decrypted and encrypted simply by touching them.