Mobile phones talk the talk, will soon walk the walk

FogStorm fogstorm at
Mon Oct 17 22:52:19 PDT 2005

Finnish researchers presented new technology designed to prevent  
thefts of mobile phones and laptops, using biometrics to recognize  
the gait of the device's owner.

  A sensor-based so-called "gaitcode" embedded in the device  
registers and memorizes the movements of the owner in three- 
dimensional form, and is reliable in 90 percent of cases, the  
researchers said Thursday.

  If it does not recognize the walk, it asks for a password. If given  
an incorrect password, the device automatically locks itself down.

  The gaitcode can also be used in a smartcard, attache case, weapon  
or USB device.

  "We think that if it is no longer useful for a person to steal  
somebody else's mobile device, the number of crimes will decrease,"  
professor Heikki Ailisto of the VTT Technical Research Centre of  
Finland told a press conference.

  More than 300,000 mobile phones are stolen each year in Britain and  
some 100,000 in both Germany and Sweden, according to statistics for  
recent years given by VTT.

  The technology can also be connected to a voice-recognition system.

  VTT spokesman Olli Ernvall said the invention was being patented on  
"the most important markets", but refused to disclose which company  
or companies were interested in its production

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