Could Measuring Brain Waves Improve Suitable Authentication Processes?

First Posted: Sep 05, 2013 04:02 PM EDT

A recent study looks at the process of authentication involved when it comes to official vehicles and public transport. As one-time entry authentication methods for computers and other protective web gadgets are often required to easily access information, other systems may be more complicated in order to secure privacy. Researchers from the Graduate School of Engineering at Tottori University now look at a system based on scanning the driver's brain waves as a way to access private vehicles that may be transporting commodities such as money or weaponry.

Lead study author Isao Nakanishi explains that conventional biometric systems and their "one-time-only" approach may allow an imposter to hijack a vehicle and throw down the systems. He said that he believes a password entry based on iris scanning that repeatedly checks the driver could work as a much safer and reliable way for private and official transport of such goods.

Through measuring a driver's brain waves continually, which the researchers suggest could possibly be completed with headgear that uses sensors to disect the waves, researchers believe this could be an easy, safe and accurate way to scan the brain and safely immobilize the vehicle if the wrong brain wave was measured.

The study concludes with the following, via a press release: "The Tottori team has now developed a system that can process electroencephalogram (EEG) signals in the alpha-beta band of the brain's electrical activity and verify the signals it receives against a pre-programmed sample from the legitimate driver. '"Brain waves are generated by the neural activities in the cerebral cortex; therefore, it is hidden in the body and cannot be bypassed,"' the team explains.

"Fundamentally, the system records the pattern of alpha-beta brain waves of a driver with their eyes open carrying out the normal functions of driving, given that this is the condition in which authentication is required. An alternative brain wave scan might have them with eyes closed and not carrying out any task. Importantly, the ongoing authentication of drivers using their brain waves would facilitate a simple way to preclude starting the engine if the driver is intoxicated with drugs or alcohol, or even just too tired because their brain waves would not match their normal pattern under such circumstances."

What do you think about this authentication process? Share in the comments below.

More information regarding the study can be found via the International Journal of Biometrics

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