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Part 3: Biometrics and Wearable Technology – The Inevitable Marriage? [OG Partner]

Part 3: Biometrics and Wearable Technology – The Inevitable Marriage? [OG Partner]

Part Three in a four part series.

Parts one and two of this series looked at the market for wearable devices and how biometrics can be used with today’s wearable technology. In this installment we will look at revolutionary biosensors of the not too distant future and the impact they will have on biometrics as we know it.

If you saw Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation you will undoubtedly remember the smart contact lens with the built in camera and communications that was able to photograph documents and send the images to a PC. Pretty farfetched, huh?

Well Samsung has been granted a patent for contact lenses with a display that can project images straight into the user’s eye. The lenses are equipped with a built-in camera and sensors that can be controlled simply by blinking.

Not to be outdone, Sony has applied for a patent for a pair of lenses with an organic electroluminescence display screen that allows you to view video, images, and other information. The Sony contact lens can be controlled by the user with the blink of an eye using embedded piezoelectric sensors that measure eyelid closure time to differentiate between an average blink and extended blink for control. Last but not least it includes a power source that uses electromagnetic induction to keep the lens operating throughout the day.

So for those of you who dream about a discrete alternative to Google Glass – Samsung and Sony are building a product for you!

And if your mind isn’t already blown by the possibilities of wearable technology, consider the next generation of biosensors – nanosensors. Although still in its infancy, extensive research is going into nanotechnology capable of being placed inside the human body to monitor, examine and treat medical conditions. Future nanosensors will be capable of measuring unique physical attributes that are impossible or impractical to capture using external sensors.

To put it simply, nanosensors will literally turn biometric solutions inside out!

What types of biometrics are best suited to take advantage of future wearable technology?

Gait recognition identifies an individual by the way they walk. Traditionally gait recognition uses video analytics and requires clear field of view and an extended capture area. However some of the smart clothing being developed for sports and exercise includes accelerometer sensors embedded in shorts, pants, socks and shoes. These sensors are able to provide a continuous stream of gait biometrics even in crowds or behind obstructions. And because gait is very difficult to spoof, gait recognition could be useful for continuous access control in sensitive facilities.

Or how about skull recognition? Persons who wear smart glasses or smart headphones can reportedly be identified based on the way sound is conducted through their head. According to research from the University of Stuttgart, Saarland University and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, each skull shape is unique and sound transmission through the skull can be captured as a biometric pattern that can be matched much like voice identification using a solution they call SkullConduct1. So if you are a smart glasses user and don’t want someone else to pick up your glasses and access your data, this could be the biometric for you.

But the biometric modality that is best positioned to benefit from future wearable biosensors is bioelectrical identification. As your doctor will tell you, bioelectrical activity in the heart, muscles and brain is measured and classified using electrocardiograms, electroencephalograms and electromyograms. Electrocardiograms (or ECGs) measure the electrical activity in the heart as it contracts. Cardiologists have long used ECG’s to detect heart anomalies, but research shows that the ECG signal is unique to each individual. The ECG signal is comprised of five specific waves that can be accurately measured and matched to identify an individual. Similar to ECGs, Electromyograms (EMG) and Electroencephalograms (EEG) measure electrical activity in the skeletal muscles and in the brain. Like Electrocardiograms, EMG and EEG signals are unique to individuals and can be used for biometric identification. Traditionally bioelectrical activity is recorded using a series of wired sensors attached to the body using adhesives and conductive gels. That works fine in a hospital, but it isn’t very convenient for most biometric identification applications. But with biosensor networks and smart clothing, hundreds of sensors can be built into your clothing and other wearables to provide highly accurate and spoof-resistant biometric authentication with no wires.

How will advanced wearable biometrics be used in the future?

Some wearable technologies are capable of biometrically identifying other people. In other words, answering the question Who are you? Body worn cameras, smart glasses and other worn accessories using facial or iris recognition technologies are probably the best candidates for these applications, and applications focus on identifying known individuals on a watch list.

But the more likely application of biometrics in wearables is for biometric authentication. Biometric authentication answers the question “Are you really who you claim to be?”

Authentication applications lend themselves well to the emerging biosensors and biometric technologies by blending biometric data capture ubiquitously into clothing or even our bodies themselves. So whether authenticating a financial transaction, entering a secure space or accessing a corporate database, the process is completely hands-free.

Worried about broadcasting your identity or other personal information to anyone who wants to eavesdrop on your wireless body area network of biosensors? Sure, you could do that with voice commands (“Transmit identity confirmation”), but with sensors that monitor your brain waves, in the future it may be as simple as “willing” your sensors to transmit your authentication details.

But if emerging biosensors are able to detect and accurately measure geolocation, heart rate, breathing, body temperature, brain activity, muscle tension and blood chemistry, then the possible applications go far beyond biometric authentication.

In the final installment of this series, we will examine the technological and sociological barriers confronting wearable biometrics and offer five predictions on the future of wearable biometrics.

First published at http://blogs.unisys.com/onpoint/part-3-biometrics-and-wearable-technology-the-inevitable-marriage/

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com