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Eyes for Security
Eye movement a better biometric than features?
A company in Israel has developed a security system that does just assesses a person's unique pattern of eye movements to identify them. Most biometric security systems measure physical features that are constant, such as fingerprints or iris patterns. An eye-tracking system has the potential to be harder to fool and easier use, its creators say.
The new system tracks the way a person's eye moves as he watches an icon roam around a computer screen. The way the icon moves can be different every time, but the user's eye movements include "kinetic features" -slight variations in trajectory-that are unique to that person and therefore making it possible to identify him or her. This is less complicated than using a long pass phrase or a smart card to gain access to a computer system or a building.
Eye tracking also requires no specialist hardware, other than a camera and a display, so it is cheaper and easier to deploy. Using a standard video camera, the system can identify users with an accuracy of 97 percent, company officials report. Many cell phones and laptops already have this kind of hardware, so the system could be deployed widely for both desktop and mobile computing. The company is currently working on an app for the iPhone 4.