With the recent onslaught of cybercrime, providing passwords as a means to prove identity becomes harder every day. On average, password resets cost companies $100 per person per reset — for the labor alone. William Shakespeare once said, “The eyes are the window to your soul.” Perhaps the eyes may also hold the key to establishing a secure method of protecting one’s identity—with biometrics.
According to TechTarget, biometrics refers to technologies that measure and analyze human body characteristics, such as DNA, fingerprints, eye retinas and irises, voice patterns, facial patterns and hand measurements, for authentication purposes. Security measures that use biometrics rely on a person’s unique characteristics and traits rather than on what that person can remember, such as a password. Ocular biometrics, in particular, relies on iris and retinal scanning.
In a recent Scientific Computing news article, Miles O’Brien reports that research is being done to take this technology to the next level. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), computer scientist Oleg Komogortsev and a team at Texas State University are developing a three-layered, multi-biometric approach that tracks the movement of the eye globe and its muscles, and monitors how and where a person’s brain focuses visual attention, in addition to scanning patterns in the iris (the colored part of the eye).
The team’s system essentially upgrades the security of existing iris recognition technology with nothing more than a software upgrade, and the benefits extend well beyond security. This technology can detect not only the identity of the person, but the state of the person, including the individual’s level of fatigue or stress. Komogortsev says it could even be used inside the helmets of football players to detect concussions.
For more information regarding ocular biometrics, read the full Scientific Computing article.