7 Surprising Biometric Identification Methods

Everything from your smell to your ears can be used to prove you're you
Authentication via parts of the eye, like the retina or iris, has been around for a while, but an Israeli company wants to use the unique movements of your eyes to identify you. It seems that we move our eyes in predictable patterns when doing certain tasks, such as following an icon across a screen. The advantages of the system are that it's tough to fool, since it requires a real-time response to a stimulus, rather than a static factor like a fingerprint, and it's fairly easy to implement. The downside, I imagine, is that it requires eye contact (which may not be easy when you're driving, for instance) and is probably a little slower than using something like a fingerprint. Dreamstime

Biometrics has long been put forth as the next big thing in authentication, replacing or supplementing the concept of “things that you know”—passwords, PINs, and so on—with “things that you are.” But despite lots of advances in the realm of biometric authentication, it’s clear that there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

Hackers have found ways to trick and circumvent biometric authentication that relies on factors like fingerprints and facial recognition, and it’s not hard to imagine that they’ll also find ways around more advanced authentication methods, too. Some experts even worry that biometrics are inherently fallible because they rely on some factors that could change throughout a person’s life.

In the end, what may prove most effective is a mix of methods, all of which add up to prove that you are, in fact, you. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of qualities that are unique to each person on the planet, and which could be potentially combined to create a comprehensive picture of you that’d also be really hard to fake. While you may be familiar with security that employs fingerprints, voice, and retinas, we’re guessing at least a few of these biometric authentication methods under development will surprise you.

Ear biometrics
Heartbeat biometrics
Fingerprint scanner
Odor biometrics