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Heartbeats to replace passwords for gadget security?

Your brain can't cope with all the passwords spilling out of your head, but your heart can, as heartbeat recognition becomes a reality.

If your heart skips a beat at the thought of caressing the sweet, sleek lines of your slinky iPhone, you might have to take a few deep yogic breaths to stand a hope of getting into Siri's knickers in future. That's because heartbeat recognition could eventually replace passwords and PINs for mobile device security.

If you're one of the 48 per cent of people who jot passwords down on a piece of paper or save them on your computer, or if you count yourself among the imaginatively stunted hordes resorting to the 25 worst passwords of 2011, you'll leap at the idea of securing your gadgets via the beat of your heart.

New Scientist recently reported on research at the National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan, which measured heartbeats -- because every person's heart pattern is irregular and unique -- and used the data to generate a key through complex encryption mathematics. Or to put it more simply, in the words of the authors, "This study introduces an individual feature of ECG with chaotic Henon and logistic maps for personalised cryptography."

Indeed. The idea is to build touch technology into devices that register your heartbeat and unlock your device.

Mobile makers clearly see the benefits of non-password based security, but you can forget the easy-to-fool Face Unlock facial recognition on Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

Instead, I would recommend plumping for the Chairman Android smart phone from populist Swiss watch maker Ulysse Nardin, which includes thumb-print recognition. Granted, the entry-level handset will set you back $14,000 (rising to $130,000 for the deluxe-edition, dressed in 3,000 17-karat diamonds). But it's a small price to pay if you have a brain like Swiss cheese.

Iris scanners are already a consumer tech reality for accessing your online accounts. Even the unique sounds made by your ears -- yep, really -- have been mooted as means of biometrically unlocking a phone. To the best of my knowledge, web bouncers have yet to come up with a nose scanner that counts your nostril hairs, but it's surely a gap for progress to fill.

There's a whole world of limbs, orifices and appendages for web doormen to explore. Which part of your body would you like to plug into your phone? Should I really be asking this question in a public forum? Whatever you have in mind, it's got to be an easier way of getting online than the Bio-port UmbyCord in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ.

Let me know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.