Yahoo Bodyprint tech turns any touchscreen into a biometric scanner

Anything with a capacitive touch display can potentially verify your identity via palm-, knuckle- or, er, ear-print

Security is one of the biggest issues in technology at the moment, with companies pushing the idea that passwords just ain’t cutting it any more.

Biometrics – the verification of a body part like your fingerprint or retina – is much more secure and generally much easier to enter. Just look at the Touch ID scanner on the latest Apple devices for evidence of that. But what if you didn’t need a special scanner to verify your identity on a smartphone or tablet? What if you used something that was already there? What if you used the touchscreen?

A team of Yahoo researchers thinks it’s made that possible with a technology it calls Bodyprint. This uses the capacitive sensors on a touchscreen to scan the topography of a body part such as your palm, knuckles, fingers – or even your ear.

Yahoo says these features are unique to each individual and its study (which admittedly only used 12 participants) found that the technology was 99.52 percent accurate. It calls capacitive touchscreens a “low-resolution but large-area” image sensor, but the resolution could increase in the future as touchscreen technology evolves and improves.

Bodyprint is still very much a nascent technology, and Yahoo will need to test it on a larger scale before determining if it truly is as safe and secure as it hopes. It’s definitely one to look out for in the future.

[Source: Planet Biometrics via Gizmodo]