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Your Heart will be the new Password for Anything

You might have heard of doors that open with a PIN code, or even with your fingerprint or eyes. But have you ever imagined doors opening to the sound of your heart beating?

This might sound like science fiction, but this is the question that scientists at Edith Cowan University-Perth, Australia  have pondered over and have been working on! For all the serial key losers among us, this breakthrough can’t come soon enough!

Researchers from ECU’s Security Research Institute is investigating how electrocardiogram (ECG) signals can be used to secure medical devices, unlock phones and even protect the smart homes and smart cars of the future. ECG signals are electrical signals generated on the skin due to our hearts beating. As all our hearts beat differently, the pattern of our electrical signals or ECG graph is also unique to us.

Scientists are exploiting this uniqueness to use our heart beats in the same way as we use our fingerprints to unlock phones or to authorise payments. They invented a device which uses a user’s ECG signal to generate a unique binary sequence, which is then used as a security key (like a very long random password) to identify the user. Scientists have already studied ECG keys for credit card payment and security of personal electronic items. They expect the days of this technology moving outside the labs and into our homes are very near.

Edith Cowan University is among the leading universities in Australia. It has been ranked in top 50 worldwide for its impact by Times Higher Education in 2019. It has been awarded 5-star rating by QS World Rankings for its teaching quality. ECU has a main campus in Perth and also smaller campuses in Melbourne and Sydney. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes in engineering, IT, business and management and humanities.

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