Researchers say 'pass-thoughts' are the future of computer logins

Although we are currently working our way into the era of accurate voice print and eye scan verifications, text passwords remain the primary means for securing our data. Now, a new research project has come up with a device that leapfrogs all the aforementioned methods and offers possibly the most secure password of them all: a thought.

Led by John Chuang of the UC Berkeley School of Information, the team of researchers recently introduced a way to authenticate identity via electroencephalograms (EEGs). The experimental method is termed as using a "pass-thought" instead of a text password. Using the Neurosky Mindset headset, the team was able to successfully identify themselves to a computer via Bluetooth during a series of experiments.

Specifically, the experiment's subjects were asked to imagine a series of select actions, such as singing a particular song or imaging a set of objects of a particular color. These pass-thoughts enabled the participants to repeatedly identify themselves to the computer.

According to the research group, despite the futuristic sound of set-up, the use of brainwaves for password authentication could rapidly become a cheap and easy security measure in the near future. In the study group's research paper titled "I Think, Therefore I Am: Usability and Security of Authentication Using Brainwaves," they concluded, "brainwave signals, even those collected using low-cost non- intrusive EEG sensors in everyday settings, can be used to authenticate users with high degrees of accuracy."

Via Physorg and UCBerkeley

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