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How to Make Smart Watches Not Worth Stealing

A locked smartwatch.

A prototype device measures the electrical resistance of tissues in one's wrist, for security purposes.

Credit: pacosal

Dartmouth University researchers have developed a prototype device that can identify someone by measuring the electrical resistance of tissues within the wrist.

The device is comprised of four pairs of electrodes around the wrist that measure electrical resistance in the body, a unique biometric that is influenced by body composition, flesh thickness, and bone size. After the device measures the correct levels of resistance, it can wirelessly transmit an ID code confirming the wearer's identity. "If I'm wearing the bracelet, my phone would be unlocked without a PIN code, or I could log into my PC or provide a means of access control," says Intel researcher and former Dartmouth University Ph.D. student Cory Cornelius.

The technology could allow confirmation that data streaming from the device is coming from the right person, according to University of Illinois researcher Carl Gunter. During testing, the device worked with 98-percent accuracy, which is sufficient for sorting out signals in a cluttered environment.

From Technology Review
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