With all the high-profile security breaches in recent years, researchers have been working hard to find ways to add new biometric layers to our regular passwords. Computer scientists at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) have now developed a novel form of lip-motion detection to boost the security of password authentication systems.

Biometric security has come a long way from the days of simple fingerprint or retina scans, with recent technology looking at everything from passwords based on user's heartbeats to more comprehensive passwords derived from an individual's brainwave activity, colloquially known as "brain prints".

This latest development utilizes the characteristics of a person's lip movements to create a double-tiered password authentication system. The technology, originally patented in 2015, can track the specific features of a user's lip shape, texture and movement. The idea is that combining a unique password with the specific lip motions of a user speaking that password results in level of security difficult for imposters to imitate.

"The same password spoken by two persons is different and a learning system can distinguish them," explains Professor Cheung Yiu-ming, head of the HKBU research.

This method is reportedly more consistent than traditional voice-based recognition protections as it can be utilized in noisy public environments. The lip password system can also be integrated with existing biometric processes, such as facial recognition, to boost the efficacy of those security protocols.

The researchers plan to initially apply the technology in financial transaction processes such as ATMs, but also note it could be useful in enhancing the security systems controlling entry to the premises of public buildings.

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