The future of signing into your accounts is here. No longer will your fingers have to gather the muscle memory to type out a password for your Facebook accountâ€”you’ll merely have to think it. All possible, thanks to a new project using a technology called “passthoughts.” Researchers behind the project claim it will allow you to authenticate your accounts on your computer, using only a headset and the power of your mind.
Companies and engineers have been working since the 1980s to develop alternative authentication methods other than typing out a series of characters in a white box. Enterprise laptops typically come with a fingerprint reader or face-recognition technology built in as a means to sign into your computer. Both are far more secure than entering your password via keyboardâ€”some hacker could be monitoring your keystrokesâ€”and costly add-ons for the average consumer.
Engineers at the School of Information used a piece of hardware called the Neurosky Mindset, a headset that senses EEG brainwaves, to develop their â€œpassthoughtsâ€ application. The headset looks like a traditional pair of headphones you’d use in the office, save for the piece of plastic that protrudes out to your forehead to sense brain activity coming from your frontal lobe. The headset only costs $199, and a fair price-point is always important when looking to attract a consumer market.
The big question on everyone’s mind, though, is does it work? According to developers, they were able to reduce error below 1% with testers. But if this device is to make an impact on the market, it has to be seamless, or else it will likely be a short-lived trend.