Hello, can you ‘ear me?

Amazon have announced the patenting of ear biometrics, for the use of unlocking a smartphone when the user gets a call. With a individual’s ear shape being as unique as their fingerprint, this seems to make sense.

When the phone rings, and I put it to my ear, the tech recognises my ear shape as mine, and the phone unlocks. This would obviously do away with the need for passwords and PINs. It seems that Amazon are planning to use this feature at a later stage as part of their payments system.

However, an article in Forbes voiced a real and dangerous problem: does the ear have to be connected to its owner? We’ve all seen nasty scenes in films whereby the relevant body part is simply removed from the owner in order to be used to gain biometric access. The ear seems to be an easy target. Let’s hope that Amazon plan to integrate liveness detection before they roll out the technology.

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