Smartphone owners are offered to be identified by gait

(ORDO NEWS) — A group of scientists from the University of Plymouth (UK) has proposed a technology that will add a new level of identification of smartphone owners based on the characteristics of their gait.

The research project involved 44 volunteers aged 18 to 56 years. For a period of 7 to 10 days, they were instructed to carry smartphones in a belt pouch. Volunteers went about their daily activities, and smartphones using gyroscopes and accelerometers measured and recorded the characteristic features of their movements when walking. During the study, each of them performed about 4,000 “walking units”, which the scientists divided into three categories: normal walking, brisk walking, and going up or down stairs.

At the end of the experiment, a “signature” of gait was created for each subject, taking into account its peculiarities. And scientists tried to perform the opposite action – to identify this or that person, based only on these signatures. They succeeded 85% of the time, up to 90% when the stair climbing category was removed from the dataset. The error rates were 11.38% for normal walking, 11.32% for brisk walking, 24.52% for climbing, and 27.33% for descending stairs.

The authors of the project admit that such indicators are far from perfect, however, they are sure that these numbers can be improved with the further development of the identification system. In the future, it could prove itself well, working in parallel with other methods of human recognition – there is no question of completely replacing them.


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