Unique Cochlear Sounds Work Like Built-In Passwords

 - Apr 17, 2009
References: newscientist
Identity theft is a serious worry. Imagine if your ears could provide a unique password for you and no other. They could thus be another biometric tool like fingerprints and retinal scans. With this technology, if someone uses a phone and pretends to be you, the bank or your credit card center could tell the difference.

Our ears don’t just hear things; they also respond by making tiny sounds of their own, which can then be picked up by super-sensitive microphones. UK scientists have discovered that when a series of clicks are played into different people’s ears, the sounds they make in return is unique to the individual due to differences in the internal shapes of our ears. 

Much work remains to be done, as this technique has to show that it can correctly identify people in the real world with little error and remain reliable as people age.