You can’t have a spy movie today without having the hero lifting finger prints from some enemy spy or political leader and then use those stolen prints to gather new intelligence. While spy movies might take this a bit overboard, the truth is that high security precautions like finger prints and retina scans can be stolen or copied in some way. Once they are compromised, they can be used to cause all variety of mayhem in a secure facility, and this is not something that you want to see happen in the real world. Thanks to a team of researchers from Binghamton University, this could change in the near future.
Back in 2015, a study titled “Brainprint” was performed and published in the Neurocomputing magazine. This study looked at a group of 32 people and monitored their brain waves as they were exposed to a wide variety of different words. With this monitoring, they were able to map the responses and come up with a brain wave tracking system that was 97 percent accurate. Still, that 3 percent represented a pretty huge margin of error, especially if it was to be used for high security situations.
Building on this study, the researchers from Binghamton University decided to expand into the realm of images. They took 50 participants and had them look at 500 different images, mapping the brain waves throughout the process. As hoped for, they were able to get more accurate results. In fact, they found that this method could identify someone accurately 100 percent of the time.
Though finger prints and retina scans might offer the perfect level of security for certain facilities, the truth is that even the best procedures involving these can be compromised. Someone could obtain either one or both through various means and once that is done there is no undoing it. The person in question can’t simply change their own fingerprint to replace the old one, which means that security is compromised as long as that individual remains in place. Alternatively, brain waves are not so easily taken and with 100 percent accuracy on who those waves belong to, it makes security that much easier.
While no one is immediately adopting this technology, the researchers hope this technology could become the standard for high security facilities. In this way, they could prevent anyone from getting into a nuclear facility who was not authorized, stop someone from entering secure areas of the pentagon, and other high priority locations. In fact, they indicate that this type of security is even more helpful than finger print or retina technology as it can be quickly wiped from the system and reset, preventing unauthorized use if anyone ever develops a technology to “steal” someone else’s brain waves.