The U.S. military is developing technology that would use a smartphone’s built-in sensors to recognize how you walk or other subtle biofeedback.
In about two months, the Department of Defense will finish testing a system that will sign people into their smartphones if the phone recognizes them based on their gait, typing patterns, grip, or other physical characteristics that the phone’s hardware can pick up, according to The Washington Post.
If all goes well, the technology could roll out to most U.S. phones within the next two years.
“Our focus from the start was something usable at the commercial level,” Steven Wallace, a scientist at the Pentagon’s Defense Information Systems Agency told Post.
Wallace cited past developments, like the GPS and the internet, that started as military research projects and then spread out to the rest of society.
“I’m not going to say that we’re going to create something that’s as broad and as grand as GPS or the Internet, but there’s a history of the department working on things and those things ending up in consumer devices,” Wallace told the Post.
The tech under development at the Pentagon is different from China’s gait-based surveillance system. Instead of monitoring people, it’s supposed to add an extra, low-cost layer of security to government officials’ phones.
If a phone detects that too many different things — how a user walks, how they grab their phone out of their pocket or bag, how they hold it while they type — are different from normal, then it will lock. That way, people can still use their phone like normal, but someone else won’t be able to pick it up and see personal information if the phone ever gets left behind.
READ MORE: The Cybersecurity 202: Your phone could soon recognize you based on how you move or walk [The Washington Post]
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