Futuristic Replacements for Passwords

Futuristic Replacements for Passwords

Since the introduction of computer passwords in the early 1960s, not much has changed. In fact, 50 years later, hackers are still running rampant, breaching millions of accounts each year. To the hackers’ defense, some of the most commonly-used passwords are “password” and “123456;” however, to the users’ defense, having to memorize multiple passwords for multiple accounts is somewhat daunting. This has prompted the invention of modern ways of verified access.

Brainprint: Researchers at Binghamton University have discovered a unique brainwave reaction to certain stimuli, such as words, that could someday be used to unlock accounts and devices. Currently, this process requires the user to strap electrodes to their head, but researchers contend that brainprints could be used in high-security physical locations now.  

Heartbeat: Each individual creates a unique signature in the wave patterns created by their heart’s electrical activity. Bionym, a startup company, has created a bracelet that converts each wave pattern into a key. Once a user snaps the wearable to his/her wrist, an electrocardiogram sensor verifies the user’s identity and then syncs with other devices like smartphones, computers, car doors, hotel rooms, etc. The neat feature is that the bracelet keeps the user signed in until the bracelet is removed.

Facial recognition: Intel released True Key, a password manager app that takes a photo of the users face and remembers the users’ features like facial math, the distance between the user’s eyes and nose.

Google searches: Imagine using your digital activity and your recollection of that activity to confirm your identity! I introduce to you project ActivPass. Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and the University of Texas at Austin created this app to monitor smartphone activity and use an algorithm to mine activity for events that could be used for passwords.

For example, ActivPass might ask the user the identity of the first person who messaged this morning or what terms the user “googled” yesterday.

The researchers ran into a problem, however, finding that people have bad memories of anything after about a day, so recent activity is most useful. The questions should be unique but not so obscure to not jog the user’s memory.

Sound verification: Startup company SlickLogin created an app that would recognize sounds. When a user needs to be authenticated, a website plays an almost inaudible, unique sound that the app “hears.” If the app recognizes the sound, the user’s credentials are verified.

Veins: Everyone has a unique vein pattern in the palms of their hands and BiyoWallet has already created a way for users to pay for things at retail shops by placing their palms onto an infrared scanner. According to the company’s website, “recreating a hand with flowing blood is practically impossible.”

Stomach: It seems there’s a pill for everything. Motorola has created a pill that has the potential to turn a person into a walking authentication device. The pill is activated by stomach acid and then emits a signal to communicate with various devices, but only if the pill is still inside the body. Simply pick up your smartphone or grasp your car door’s handle to be automatically authenticated.

And, of course, this pill is already approved by the FDA!

About the Author

Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.


  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    Perimeter Security Standards for Multi-Site Businesses

    When you run or own a business that has multiple locations, it is important to set clear perimeter security standards. By doing this, it allows you to assess and mitigate any potential threats or risks at each site or location efficiently and effectively. Read Now

  • Getting in Someone’s Face

    There was a time, not so long ago, when the tradeshow industry must have thought COVID-19 might wipe out face-to-face meetings. It sure seemed that way about three years ago. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • Live From ISC West 2024: Post-Show Recap

    ISC West 2024 is complete. And from start to finish, the entire conference was a huge success with almost 30,000 people in attendance. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • ISC West 2024 is a Rousing Success

    The 2024 ISC West security tradeshow marked a pivotal moment in the industry, showcasing cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions to address evolving security challenges. Exhibitors left the event with a profound sense of satisfaction, as they witnessed a high level of engagement from attendees and forged valuable connections with potential clients and partners. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation.

    Connect ONE®

    Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation. 3

  • EasyGate SPT and SPD

    EasyGate SPT SPD

    Security solutions do not have to be ordinary, let alone unattractive. Having renewed their best-selling speed gates, Cominfo has once again demonstrated their Art of Security philosophy in practice — and confirmed their position as an industry-leading manufacturers of premium speed gates and turnstiles. 3

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3