All in the blink of an eye
A company in Israel has developed a security system that identifies a person by their unique pattern of eye movements, according to Technology Review. Most biometric security systems measure physical features that are constant, such as fingerprints or iris patterns. An eye-tracking system has the potential to be harder to fool and easier use, its creators said.
The new system tracks the way a person’s eye moves as he watches an icon roam around a computer screen. The way the icon moves can be different every time, but the user’s eye movements include “kinetic features”—slight variations in trajectory—that are unique, making it possible to identify him. This is less complicated than using a long pass phrase or a smart card to gain access to a computer system or a building.
“The interface is really very simple,” said Daphna Palti-Wasserman, chief executive of ID-U Biometrics, the company that developed the technology. “The user watches a target moving on a screen and a camera monitors their eye movement responses.”
Eye tracking also requires no specialist hardware, other than a camera and a display, so it is cheaper and easier to deploy, Palti-Wasserman said. Using a standard video camera, the system can identify users with an accuracy of 97%. Many cell phones and laptops already have this kind of hardware, so ID-U’s system could be deployed widely for desktop and mobile computing. The company is currently working on an app for the iPhone 4.