An article by Randall Stross that came out in the New York Times last week, Bypassing Those Passwords, discussed an exciting future for those of us who are tired of remembering all those computer passwords.
Many people and organizations, including Darpa (the federal government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), are working on systems that can recognize you by the way you use your computer—for example, how many milliseconds you hold down the keys when you type, how hard you push on them, or the way you move the mouse, or even your search patterns. It turns out that these gestures are quite different for different people.
What this means is that your computer could be authenticating you as soon as you start using it.
The increased prevelance of hackers has required all of us to use more and more sophisticated passwords, to the point where our current system of password authentication is crippling productivity (and fun!). Wouldn’t it be amazing if we never had to remember any passwords (or never had to write them down on that piece of paper in the drawer, or never had to use a sophisticated password storage software system)? It’s good to know that the government is focusing on something that will improve our lives in the day to day. Bring it on!
Lock and key image by Editor B, courtesy Flickr Creative Commons.