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Here’s Looking at You!

Most computer users are asked to enter a string of numbers and letters when they are accessing a system that requires a password such as an email or website account. In some cases, the user is asked for alternative forms of identification instead of a password such as fingerprints or retina scanning. Being asked to identify ourselves by eye movement in order to access secure websites and services may soon become commonplace.

Following research, it has been found that when we look at a picture each individual’s eyes move in a unique sequence around it. The research revealed that even if two people scan identical paths around an image their eyes behave differently. A computer scientist from the Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas believes that this behaviour can be harnessed and used as a secure way to access computer systems in the future.

The scientist is confident that a secure system can be built that identifies users by the way that their eyes move around when they are looking at a computer screen. The computer scientist, who is named Oleg Komogortsev believes that there is enough differences in eye movement to allow them to be ‘talked about’ as a biometric. Mr Komogortsev has insisted that his work is at an early stage and that years of work will be required before it can be used in a commercial capacity.

He went on to say that eye movements could possibly be used as next-generation iris scans. Researchers have already proven that some iris scanners can be fooled when a high-quality print out of a user’s eye is held up to it. Mr Komogortsev hopes that by adding an eye movement sensor to a password dependent computer system it will prevent the scanners from being so easily fooled in the future.