Another possibility is phone sensors that can identify the user by the way he or she walks. Such technology, called gait recognition, is currently in the research stage at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Once biometrics becomes rock solid in identifying a device's user, "we'll start to have a very, very, very secure authentication system that's very hassle free," Palacio said. "People just buy it and it works."
While such a system may be much better than the passwords now in use, it does not mean hackers will be out of business.
"The attackers continue to go after these new techniques, so we have to be very careful about the security properties," Henry said. "In other words, you still have to evaluate what kind of attacks could occur."
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