You think your phone is a target for would-be identity thieves now? Wait until this phone-as-method-of-payment madness touches down – it’s about to get madder.
As such, we’re probably gonna need more security measures, right? A password certainly isn’t enough, and besides, you don’t want to have to input your password every time anyway.
Well, get a load of this. Or, half a load at least, if you’re strapped for time. Researchers have been working on using the built-in accelerometers in modern smartphones to measure a person’s gait – that is, the way he or she walks – to identify the owner of the phone.
Believe it or not, your gait is almost as unique as your fingerprint, and almost as difficult to perfectly emulate. By gathering the the information of your walk across three dimensions, the accelerometer can tell if it’s you, or an aspiring thief doing his best impression of you.
Unfortunately, at this stage of the game, the thief might be able to do it. Testing showed that current accelerometers in phones were still incorrect about 20% of the time. But the future isn’t far away, and surely accelerometers will be higher resolution before we know it.
Frankly, I’m interested to see how this pans out. Passwords suck, but one question I’m really begging to ask is – since we’re touching our phones almost perpetually throughout the day anyway… why don’t we just use our fingerprints? They’re more reliable anyway. Just sayin’, guys.