Fingerprint scanners are commonly used on mobile devices to verify the user’s identity but NEC has come up with a unique way to do that. The company has developed new technology that enables earbuds to verify your identity. The sound-capturing earbuds verify identity by looking at the way sound resonates in the ear canal. Since ear shape is unique to all of us, so are the acoustics, which is what the earbuds capture when trying to determine who you really are.
NEC claims that this technology works with 99 percent accuracy and that it merely needs seconds to take all of the measurements and determine whether or not the authorized user is trying to gain access.
This is quite different from existing solutions like fingerprint sensors that require scanning of the finger every time you need to get access, so you manually have to take out the device and place your finger on the sensor.
It becomes easier with these earbuds as they allow for continuous authentication even when your hands are busy as the earbuds play out a sound and look at the acoustics to determine if you’re indeed the authorized user.
NEC says that it’s going to commercialize this technology in the 2018 fiscal year. The technology might come to smartphones at some point as NEC also sees a use for this technology in ensuring the security of critical infrastructure and for continuously verifying identity during confidential calls. The technology can also be used in scenarios where navigations or voice direction is only meant for one particular user.