Thoughts to Replace Passwords

By | December 14, 2005

A group of researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa hope to soon be able to use brain wares as a replacement for passwords. The research aims to replace traditional security tools such as key cards and pin numbers with brainwave biometric authentication device.

Julie Thorpe, a researcher at the University, says that users would simply think their password. The idea is that like fingerprints, brainwave signals vary slightly from person to person, even when they think alike.

“Everyone´s brainwave signal is a bit different even when they think about the same thing. They´re unique just like fingerprints,” she said.

While people get tricked into giving up their passwords, smartcards may be lost or stolen, as can biometric templates stored on computers for comparing eye or fingerprint scans, so-called “passthoughts” are unique.

Even though slight differences in brainwave signals cause difficulties for researchers to build a universal tool that could be integrated with the computer, these peculiarities make brainwave signals ideal for security applications.

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