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Cellphones Crime Security

Smart Phones Could Know Their Users By How They Walk 96

mirgens writes "Technology Review has a short article on new work on gait analysis with the accelerometers built into many smart phones. The work was done at the Norwegian Information Security Laboratory ('Nislab'). The need for more security on mobile devices is increasing with new functionalities and features made available. To improve device security, Nislab proposed gait recognition as a protection mechanism — in other words, if somebody else walks away with your phone, it locks up. While previous work on gait recognition used video sources, for instance to identify people in airports or secure buildings, the Nislab researchers collected the gait data using a Google G1 phone containing the AK8976A embedded accelerometer." What if you're running from a mugger and want to dial 911?
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Smart Phones Could Know Their Users By How They Walk

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  • by pedantic bore ( 740196 ) on Saturday October 09, 2010 @07:32AM (#33844368)

    I'm worried that this sort of thing would lead to phones that won't allow me to answer when they detect that I might be driving.

  • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Saturday October 09, 2010 @08:01AM (#33844446) Journal

    >> What if you're running from a mugger and want to dial 911?

    > Then don't lock out emergency functions - similar to the way that
    > (in the US at least) phones without a valid subscription can still call 911.

    The editing on /. gets worse each day. What is more interesting of a question would have been "are walks as unique as fingerprints, and can this be used to violate privacy" How is this quantified, and could the police put you on a suspect list because your "walk" is similar to who they think committed some crime? Those are interesting questions. As for 911, as the parent points out, that would be obvious to anyone with any life experience.

  • OnSmart App (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 09, 2010 @08:15AM (#33844478)

    Speaking of 911 and accelerometers...

    I've long wondered if you could write a smart phone app that monitors the accelerometer for a roll over collision and calls 911 like OnStar. You could have it enabled only when the phone is in a car dock or something. Perhaps for sudden jolts like a rear-end collision it could say "I'm going to call 911 in one minute unless you tell me you're alright."

The best defense against logic is ignorance.