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Forget Passwords — Amazon Patents Ear Biometrics Smartphone Tech

When it comes to unlocking a smartphone, traditional passwords are sure to eventually be a thing of the past.

Apple’s patented fingerprint technology that got rid of the PIN password is already old news, and companies are now looking into other more sophisticated biometric tech tools to unlock a smartphone — and in some cases they are looking to use those biometric features to make a payment. Using the smartphone user’s iris has been one of the most recent technologies discussed, but Amazon wants to take that concept to the next level.

Amazon is now working toward using individuals’ unique ear shapes as smartphone-unlocking passwords, as an individual’s ears are said to be as unique as their fingerprints. A recent article from The Next Web discusses how Amazon’s patent on this system could change the way people think about passwords. The technology would be used to unlock a phone when a person gets a call, with the technology automatically recognizing the person’s ear shape. This would enable users to get into that phone without a password or specific PIN.

Biometric passwords, in general, have taken quite the turn this year, when a PayPal executive went as far as saying that the next wave in biometric ID for mobile payments will be devices that can be embedded, injected and ingested. PayPal is currently working with partners to develop vein recognition tech and heartbeat recognition bands.

In terms of smartphone tech, at least for now, the fingerprint password still seems to be the dominant choice until other technology is better developed. Android M’s fingerprint sensors, for example, which were developed in cooperation with Swedish Fingerprint Card, will enable app developers to take advantage of fingerprint sensors securely, eliminating the need for PIN codes or passwords to identify and verify the user.

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