Using Wearable Biometrics for Continuous Automated Authentication
Biometrics use biological features such as fingerprints to determine an individual’s identity by comparing the observed fingertip patterns to a previously stored pattern. Biometrics are useful for controlling access to devices - such as laptops - or to facilities. One drawback, however, is the user-intrusive action required, such as placing a finger on a sensor for scanning or positioning the eye close to an iris scanner. The intrusiveness of a biometric scan can be especially cumbersome during tasks that require hands-free operation.
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s “Continuous Automated Biometric System” does not require any action to be taken by the user for identification. The user simply wears an identification device strapped to the forearm. The identification device includes biometric sensors that automatically and periodically identify or authenticate the user based on his or her skin characteristics. The skin is illuminated by a light source within the identification device and light and heat sensors determine identity. Periodic authentication can be used to determine if the user is continually present which would be beneficial in cases where the user may be unresponsive. If the device detects that the user is no longer present or if an adversary attempts to use the device, the device can lockout the user and deny unauthorized access.
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