Do you have trouble remembering your password? Perhaps you need to use your heart instead of your head. An encryption system that uses the unique pattern of your heartbeat as a secret key could potentially be used to make a hard drive that will only decrypt in response to your touch.
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.
Photo credit: Dvice
Via New Scientist