SORRY, Apple. The fingerprint recognition feature on the new iPhone 5s, Touch ID, might be eye-catching, but it still counts as logging in to your device. Instead, identifying someone by the way they tap and swipe on the screen might be the more natural future of smartphone biometrics.
Machine-learning algorithms turn this into a signature that identifies the user, locking out anyone whose usage patterns do not match.
"Different users, dependent on sex and age among other things, will have different habits in interacting," says Bo.
In tests involving 100 people, SilentSense identified the phone's owner with 99 per cent accuracy in under 10 taps. Even with an average of 2.3 touches the system still succeeded 98 per cent of the time (arxiv.org/abs/1309.0073).
To save on power, once it identifies a user, the software only switches on again when sensitive applications, such as email or SMS, are accessed.
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