Did I just hear a sigh of relief from some of you or was that just me? One day soon the unique pattern of your heart's beat could act as the password that unlocks your hard drive just by touching your keyboard.
The scientific team behind the concept successfully tested the concept of translating a human heartbeat into an encryption key by taking an electrocardiograph (ECG) reading from a person's palm. They were then able to extract the signature beat the heart makes and generate a secret key as part of an encryption scheme.
The secret to the encryption being, well, secret, is that not only is your heartbeat unique to you, it also has an irregular pattern that never repeats. So the encryption scheme is based on the math behind the chaos theory, in which small changes to initial conditions lead to different outcomes. You won't get the same key twice.
The goal is to build this system into external hard drives so that users could both encrypt and decrypt their devices simply with the touch of a hand.
I think my heart just skipped a beat!
The research was conducted by Chun-Liang Lin at the National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan and will appear in the journal Information Sciences.