You may soon unlock smartphone via heart sensing biometric scanner

We are all used to biometrics for security on our computers and other items today. Typically this is either a facial, retinal, or fingerprint scan that unlocks the computer and logs us into whatever we want to use. Scientists at the University of Buffalo have invented a new type of biometrics in the form of a system that sans the dimensions of your heart and uses that to identify you.

The system was invented at the university uses low-level Doppler radar to measure the heart of the user. That measurement continues to make sure that no one else has stepped in and is trying to use your computer. The scientists behind the tech say that it is a safe and more effective alternative to passwords and currently used biometric identifiers.

The researchers note that this tech could also be used in smartphones and at airport screening barricades. Anyone worried about the strength of the doppler radar in the system and potential side effects should feel better knowing that the strength of that radar is "much less than WiFi" according to Wenyao Xu, lead author of the study. The system needs about 8 seconds to perform a scan for the first time.

After that initial scan, the monitor is able to continuously measure the heart. The team has been working on the system for three years and says that no two people with identical hearts have ever been found. Benefits of the system include that it is a passive non-contact device.

The fact that it continually monitors people and blocks other users means that the user doesn't need to remember to log-off when they walk away. The researchers are currently working to miniaturize the system and have it installed on the corners of a computer keyboard. The team notes that the system could monitor a person from up to 30 meters away in an airport usage barricade scenario.