Everything we do, say, feel and think is based on the electrical activity constantly generated by the brain, the “headquarter” of actions, memories and also our personality and identity.
Some scientific researches hypothesized the existence of something unique in the brain, a trace that makes it possible to distinguish a person from another. This assumption is based on two factors: the shaping of the brain during growth is driven by our genetics, which we know is different for everyone; during our lifetime we live experiences and we learn new things that change day by day the way our brain works, thanks to a property called Neuronal Plasticity.
This hypothesis led us to dig deep into lots of data, that we collected at Vibre in several years working in the field of Brain-Computer Interfaces, in order to look for a way to recognize people only from their EEG signal.
After months, thanks to artificial intelligence algorithms, we finally confirmed the hypothesis: we are able to identify a person by recording and analyzing his brain signals.
What drives us as Biomedical Engineers is the will to create innovation by understanding always more about brain signals, as entrepreneurs, we aim to convert that innovation in technologies that can disrupt the current state of the art in several fields. This is why we created MindPrint, the first biometric authentication system that recognizes people from their brain, available on the market within September 2019.
MindPrint is designed to be used where a high level of security is required, both for physical accesses to restricted areas and online authentications, for companies, laboratories, financial institutes and so on.
First of all user’s signals must be registered into a database with a small device, the Muse by Interaxon. The registration only lasts three minutes in which the device is put in three different positions on the forehead, just like how it is done with a fingerprint that has to be acquired by putting the finger in different positions. Once the subject is known to the system, the authentication lasts just a few seconds in which he needs to wear the Muse and stay relaxed.
MindPrint overcomes a lot of problems related to the current state of the art in biometrics:
– brain signals cannot be stolen nor replicated because of their intrinsic complexity and variability;
– the key hidden in the EEG is not “visible” from the signal itself, but can only be found with complex AI algorithms that require high computational power in order to work efficiently;
– an authentication under threat would not work as well, because being under a considerable level of stress alters the signal preventing the access;
– our mental key has a small part that continuously changes, so an eventual theft would not cause an unfixable damage, unlike a fingerprint theft which is irreversible.
MindPrint combines the best from passwords and biometric markers: it is a unique trace but changes during lifetime. The system is provided with a functionality that updates the signal to “the last version of the brain” during the authentication phase, increasing the level of security.
For other products by Vibre read also BrainArt, a Neural Interface for Generative Art by Vibre
Another huge advantage that MindPrint has, despite other biometric systems, is the continuous authentication, which means being constantly sure that the authenticated subject is actually who he says he is. With a classic fingerprint system, such a control is impossible to make, the subject should be holding the finger on the sensor or authenticate every few minutes, both uncomfortable and unsafe procedures.
Continuous authentication is also a way to recognize human activity on the web, which is a major problem because it is almost impossible to tell if you are dealing with a human being or with an Artificial Intelligence.
MindPrint is the first use case of BCI in the biometric field, it is a technology that can revolutionize the sector of security and can solve many problems: every two seconds in the USA an identity theft occurs and the annual cost is about 50 billion dollars; more than 50% of small enterprises is attacked and damages related to account takeovers amount to 5,1 billion dollars.
MindPrint is a cloud-based solution, it is provided together with the hardware to companies, it runs on our server architecture and is implementable in a very easy way thanks to APIs.
In a first phase it will be sold to companies, the vision we have at Vibre is a future in which our technology will be daily used by the mass for example in home banking, PayPal payments or classic login into Google or Facebook to bring a new level of security in everyone’s lives.