Aladdin shows heart-beat biometric security system

Published 21 February 2006

It had to come to this: Now there is a company developing a biometric security system which identifies users by their heart beat. The company is Tel Aviv, Israel-based Aladdin Knowledge Systems (NASDAQ: ALDN), which this week showed off a prototype of the system. This is but the latest move in a growing industry.

Aladdin’s proposed device looks like a small computer mouse with two metal contacts. When touched for a few seconds — using one finger from each hand, to complete the circuit — the device measures several factors in the user’s heartbeat to record his or her biodynamic signature. The signature includes a combination of electrical signals from the heart and central nervous system. The sensors measure these signals, run them through an algorithm on a computer and create a digital representation of the signature. Aladdin says individual signatures can identify people more accurately than fingerprints. Note that because the signature includes both genetic and physiological components, it is not significantly altered by activities such as a brisk walk up stairs or a cup of coffee.

The device was designed by another Israeli company, Caesarea-based IDesia, which licensed it to Aladdin, and Daniel Lange, IDesia-CTO, says only a major medical event — a heart attack, for example — would throw the machine off. “With fingerprints, a scratch on your finger might change your reading,” Lange says. “Fortunately for us, heart attacks are much less frequent.”

-read more about the device at Aladdin’s Web site; read more at IDesia Web site