Every sound we hear has a unique signature thanks to the way it was created, and which objects the sound waves have passed through. A team of South Korean researchers are now exploring whether the unique bioacoustic signatures created as sound waves pass through humans can be used to identify individuals. The biometric system developed by ETRI uses a transducer to generate vibrations and thus sound waves, which pass through a given body part on a person. In this a case, a finger is easily accessible and convenient.
After the sound has passed through the skin, bones, and other tissues, a sensor picks up the unique bioacoustic signature. Teasing apart the distinct signatures of individuals is further boosted using modeling. The approach is effective enough to distinguish different fingers on the same hand. This means that a person must use the same finger that was originally analyzed for authentication. While measuring changes in acoustic vibrations is fairly accurate, it does not yet match the accuracy of fingerprints or iris scans.