The Millstone Times April 2022

Apple AirPods Will Be Able to Recognize Users Based on Their Ear Canals By, Surabhi Ashok

Multinational corporation Apple is filing a patent for an in-ear device that would use the differences in an individual’s unique ultrasonic signals reflected from the surface of their ear canals to verify the identity of the user. In a case where the AirPods are lost or stolen, the device will not operate for anyone but an authorized user. How would this work? Well, variations in each person’s ear canal may cause an ultrasonic signal and resulting echo that is slightly different from the orig- inal users. The technology could identify the smaller reverberation time of an echo from someone who has a smaller ear canal compared to a larger one. Instead of ultrasonic sounds, Apple may also utilize a person’s gait, or the style of their walk, to the same purpose of user identification. A lumbering walk for instance can be detected by the long and swaying strides and slow pace. The current headphones are prone to security risks like unsanctioned phone commands and breaches of other private information available on one’s mobile device. They do not consider whether or not the person wearing the headphones would be permitted to have access to various features of the smartphone like the receiving of messages. The new biometric device, potentially being released under a different name than the Airpod, would change this. Biometrics is the automatic recognition of unique characteristics, used as a replacement for passwords and a tool for law enforcement among other things. Acting similar to facial recognition and fingerprint recognition on phones, user identification in headphones would add to customer security. Considering the new technology, the protections, and the fact that the most recent pair of AirPods are $179, Apple’s future device will definitely be priced highly. However, the quality of the product and the benefits it will offer will surely be worth it! Source:

12 The Millstone Times

April 2022

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