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Security

LipPass will read your lips to keep your phone and wallet secure

February 11, 2019, 7:21PM EDT

A new, more accurate authentication method is about to land on a phone near you: a lip reading-based user authentication system. LipPass verifies your identity basing on your lip movements. According to a study, this behavioural verification technique can identify the user by their mouth movements with 90.2 per cent accuracy and is able to detect spoofers with 93.1 per cent accuracy. Unlike biometric-based platforms used in the study, LipPass performance was stable across various environments—it performed similarly well in a well-lit, quiet laboratory and a dark, noisy pub.

Instead of focusing on the user’s voice, LipPass analyses behavioural patterns that occur during speech—lip-protrusion, tongue stretch and constriction, jaw angle changes—to create the user’s unique Doppler effect profile. In order to do so, the platform doesn’t require any special technology as it utilizes mobile phone’s already-existing features.

The technology offers another layer of security to possibly insecure phones and crypto wallets and because it works on older phones it could allow for users in developing countries to use biometrics that don’t require expensive cameras or scanners.

“To resist an attack, existing solutions either employ specialized infrastructure, such as Apple FaceID, or require users to involve extra operations, such as eye blinking, which introduces additional cost and effort and further reduces user experience,” said Jiadi Yu of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

According to the scientists who carried out the study, most successful hack attempts required a recording of the user’s Doppler profile—made from approximately 50 centimetres—practically impossible to obtain without someone noticing.