When it comes to biometric authorization systems, there are many to choose from – candidates include face recognition, fingerprint recognition, ear recognition, voice recognition, tongue recognition and body odour recognition etc etc. But none is 100% perfect, so there’s always a demand for improvement and innovation.
In 2016, a team from the Department of Computer Science and Technology, Ocean University of China, and the School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia proposed (and tested) a new one : finger-snapping recognition :
“The security of smart devices has been a major concern for people nowadays. For example, a range of methods have been applied for user authentication on smartphones and smart watches, such as password, PIN and ﬁngerprint. They can be either easily stolen by attackers or need extra sensors for input. In this paper, a new biometric trait, ﬁnger snapping, is applied for person authentication. The sound of ﬁnger snapping is easy to capture with the microphone embedded in the smart devices. Besides, it is easy to perform and do not require explicit remembrance for the reason that ﬁnger snapping only depends on muscle memory.”
“Finger snapping is an act of making an impulsive sound with one’s ﬁngers and palm. It is often done by connecting the thumb with another (middle, index or ring) ﬁnger, and then moving the other ﬁnger immediately downward to hit the palm. Such act of ﬁnger snapping involves physiological characteristics which refer to inherited traits that are related to human body, as the sound of ﬁnger snapping is diﬀerentiated by the size of palm and skin texture. In addition, it also involves behavioral characteristics which refer to learned pattern of a person, as it is the movement of the ﬁnger creates the sound.”
“A survey is carried out on 74 people about whether they can snap their ﬁngers and accept the ﬁnger snapping authentication. Results show that 86.5 % of the respondents can snap ﬁngers, of which 89.2 % would like to authenticate themselves using a simple ﬁnger snap. Besides, through our ﬁnger snapping collecting phase, we come to ﬁnd out that people who could not snap their ﬁngers can learn to do it after understanding the method of ﬁnger snapping.”
See: Yang Y., Hong F., Zhang Y., Guo Z. (2016) Person Authentication Using Finger Snapping — A New Biometric Trait. In: You Z. et al. (eds) Biometric Recognition. CCBR 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9967. Springer, Cham. (a full copy may be found here)
BONUS Assignment [optional] : Can you snap your fingers? If so, can you do it (exactly) the same twice?
Research research by Martin Gardiner