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(Pocket-lint) - Apple introduced it's Touch ID fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5S this week, but already it's outdated. SilentSense is an intelligent algorithm that uses data from your swipe style, patterns of pressure and even gait to recognise you. And if it's not you it can lock the user out.

The iPhone 5S is probably the best device to run this software because it uses the phone's sensors to build a digital signature of your usage style. And since the M7 processor in the iPhone 5S makes sensory data even more accurate, this would be ideal for SilentSense.

SilentSense, developed by Cheng Bo at the Illinois Institute of Technology, is 99 per cent accurate after no more than 10 taps of the device. Even after 2.3 taps it was still 98 per cent accurate. "Different users, dependent on sex and age among other things, will have different habits in interacting," says Bo.


The software uses the phone's gyroscope and accelerometer along with patterns of pressure, duration, plus fingerprint size and position to recognise a user. Even the user's walking style is a factor in recognition.

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While this is all very impressive, it's still being tested. The implications of recognising an intruder is also an issue. Would the phone lock up? What if it mistook you for someone else when you were drunk? Would there be a back-up code to unlock it? Then why bother with it in the first place?

It's all early stage stuff with lots of kinks to sort out, but SilentSense is a very exciting development that could add yet another layer of security to your mobile.

Writing by Luke Edwards.
Sections Phones