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An algorithm allows people to be identified by their heartbeat

The face or the fingerprint are currently some of the systems of biometric identification more employees. However, there are researchers who have been working on the use of other types of biomarkers.


A study by the Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M), together with the Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University in Iran, developed a system capable of identifying people by their heartbeat.

The work is based on an innovative identification technique based on electrocardiograms (ECG) and musical characteristics commonly used to characterize audio files..


“In a nutshell, after processing the ECG recordings, we transform them into audio wave files, divide them into segments, extract features in five musical dimensions, and finally feed these instances into a classifier,” the publication highlights.

For his part, Pedro Peris-López, professor in the computer science department at UC3M, explained a summary of the project in a video released by that entity: “We take an EKG as input, turn it into a musical score, and categorize it by typical features used in music: timbre, tone, tonality and from there we managed to identify each person, each person would have their own score”.


From the combination of the different qualities, unique parameters are obtained to identify the person with 96.6% accuracy. One of the challenges scientists face is proving that this level of accuracy holds in different contexts. In other words, the system is capable of identifying the person when he or she is stationary, moving or subject to external factors such as stress, which can change the rhythm, tone or some other characteristic of his or her heartbeat.

If progress was made along this line, one of the positive aspects of this biometric indicator would be further explored: its accuracy.

Another interesting point is that heartbeats could be taken through different devices that are used today such as bracelets or smart watches..


In other words, the collection of information could be carried out in a simple and non-invasive way, since does not require the use or development of new gadgets but the adaptation of existing technology. This would allow progress with an efficient system, simple to apply and therefore with low associated costs.

It is worth mentioning that it is a project that is still in the development phase and progress remains to be made to further optimize its operation to eventually see the possibility of it being launched on the market.

In recent years, other investigations have emerged that seek to identify other alternative recognition patterns. This is the case of a project developed by a group of specialists from the University of Albany, in the USA, which is based on sweat.

They devised a device equipped with a system that identifies people by such secretions. The point is that perspiration contains a series of particular metabolites that serve to produce the identification of the individual.

In the first instance, the team takes data and makes measurements of these elements to establish a specific profile that is linked to a person.. Once this is done, the system will be able to identify the person taking that stored information.

In terms of biometric identification, we cannot fail to mention some innovative advances that are already a reality, such as the system for paying with the palm of your hand that Amazon launched a year and a half ago.

This option is already available in supermarkets, stadiums and other theaters in the United States. It is enough to bring the palm of the hand closer to the corresponding reader, without establishing contact, and in a few seconds the system recognizes the user, as well as the payment data linked to their profile, and the corresponding amount is charged.


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