Securing a smartphone with a fingerprint is on the verge of becoming obsolete, according to a team of researchers from Edith Cowan University. In fact, the team suggests that people using fingerprints to access smartphones will soon be replaced by biometric security systems that rely on both fingerprinting and a scan of the veins in a user’s fingers.

Considering that vein patterns are unique to each person, researchers believe the combination of fingerprinting and brain scanning will become more and more common in the future.

"In the future, we'll need more security, because threats are always evolving," said Dr. Wencheng Yang from the ECU Security Research Institute (ECUSRI).

"While fingerprints are better than other existing security systems, there are problems. We leave fingerprints everywhere and they can be duplicated using adhesives like tape or even Play Dough," said Yang. "Facial recognition is also limited, because high-resolution imagery is easy — but there is no easy way for someone to see inside your body."

The combination of both fingerprint and vein data is expected to improve user recognition attempts with little chance of successful duplication by hackers.

The research is published in the journal Pattern Recognition.

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