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Biometrics

Science

Google Glass-based system identifies you by the sound of your skull

Google Glass may be pretty much dead, but smartglasses in some form are likely to be a part of our future (whether near or distant). When that day comes you don't want just anyone picking up yours and using it without permission. Conventional passwords are one way to go, but scientists from Germany's Saarland University and University of Stuttgart have developed an alternative that doesn't involve having to memorize anything – you do, however, have to let the glasses buzz your skull.Read More

Science

New fingerprinting tech is more than skin-deep

Most fingerprint scanners work the same way – the pad of the finger is pressed against the scanner’s glass surface, light is shone through the glass onto it, and the light that’s reflected back by the minuscule valleys between the print’s ridges is used to create an image of the print. It’s a system that’s usually effective, although it can fail to read prints that have been flattened by age or damaged, plus it can be fooled by gelatine casts of fingerprints. That’s why scientists from the Paris-based Langevin Institute have developed a more reliable scanner, that looks below the skin's surface.Read More

Electronics

HyperCam would let you see the unseen

Because regular cameras just process visible light, the images that they produce look like what we see with our own eyes. By contrast, hyperspectral cameras process additional wavelengths, showing us things that we wouldn't otherwise be able to see. Unfortunately, they also tend to be big, expensive, and thus limited to scientific or industrial applications. That could be about to change, however, as scientists from the University of Washington and Microsoft Research are creating a compact, inexpensive consumer hyperspectral camera. It may even find its way into your smartphone.Read More

Good Thinking

Emotions used instead of cash at unique art auction

If someone places the winning bid on a work of art at an auction, it must mean that they liked the piece more than any of the other bidders ... right? Well, actually, it could just mean that they were wealthier than any of the other bidders. Swedish design company Kosta Boda, however, recently held an event where money was irrelevant. In order to win a piece, bidders had to have the most pronounced physiological response upon first seeing it. Read More

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