Wearable System Harvests Authentication Data and Energy from Walking

Australian tech research company CSIRO has announced that its Data61 group has developed a system that leverages a user’s walking gait for both authentication and energy conservation.

Wearable System Harvests Authentication Data and Energy from Walking

Gait-based authentication isn’t currently a common means of biometric authentication, but it has seen at least one pioneer in FST Biometrics, whose IMID system combines it with facial recognition, and in some cases voice recognition, for passive user authentication. In its experimentation, Data61 has added kinetic energy harvesting, or KEH, to the mix, a means of using movement to generate energy. The research group says that a trial of this technology indicated that it can authenticate users with 95 percent accuracy while reducing their power consumption by 78 percent.

There are some caveats. In a statement announcing the research, Data61 did not specify the hardware used, describing only “a prototype wearable device” equipped with small sensors. And the study featured only 20 subjects – too small a basis to make any firm conclusions about precisely how effective the authentication and energy conservation systems are.

Still, the research points to promising technological innovations that could ultimately offers strong benefits to consumers and even enterprise organizations seeking implement passive authentication solutions that can also save energy.