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what is titulo
Identity recognition techniques, either in an authentication or identification framework, are generally classified according their operating principle, namely:
a) What the person knows (e.g. passwords);
b) What the person has (e.g. identity card);
c) What the person appears to be (e.g. face);
d) What the person does (e.g. signature).
The later two classes of methods are generally framed in the area of biometric recognition which, in the current state-of-the-art, includes different types of physical (e.g. fingerprint or iris) and behavioural traits (e.g. voice or keystroke dynamics), among many others. Despite the fact that biometric systems are highly advantageous for identity recognition, as they provide information which is more directly related to intrinsic properties of the subject, most of the traits currently in use today present several limitations. For example, the fingerprint is prone to artificial replicas, the iris requires the user to stand in a specific physical space, and to have the eye in line of sight with the reader, etc. These and other constrains ultimately limit the scope of application.
Your Heart as a Key

Electrocardiographic (ECG) signals, are quite appealing for biometric applications in terms of desirable properties since these signals:
a) are continuously available;
b) nowadays can be easily acquired;
c) can only be collected in live subjects;
d) due to their specificity, are not easily spoofed or masqueraded;
e) are influenced by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, thus being correlated with the psychophysiological condition of the subject. When acquired at the body surface, the collected signals are directly dependent on multiple physiological properties of the subject, such as tissue conductivity, genetic singularities, medical conditions, position, shape and size of the cardiac muscle, among many others.
“Off-the-person” Approach

One of the challenges that our team has tackled was the improvement of the sensor acceptability into what can be defined as an off-the-person approach, given that the sensors are integrated into objects with which the subject regularly interacts with (e.g. a computer keyboard, a game station controller, etc.). The rationale behind this approach is that, unlike the on-the-person methods, in which the user needs to wear the sensor or perform a voluntary action to have the sensor in contact with his body, in this case the sensor is integrated into everyday objects in a pervasive manner, so that the user does not need to change his/her normal interaction patterns. We have devised a sensor setup that only requires two contact points with the body of the user, and can operate with non-gelled electrodes and conductive textiles.
Permanence of the ECG Signals

Another important challenge addressed by our team has been focused on evaluating the permanence of ECG signals over time; we were pioneers in the evaluation of the stability of the ECG heartbeat waveforms extracted at the hand palms or fingers. Our experimental results have shown that there are cases in which the heartbeat waveform template changes over time, and there are cases in which the heartbeat waveform template is stable over time. In the overall, we were able to conclude that for application scenarios with a low user throughput (e.g. home entertainment and automotive applications), the ECG holds its potential to be used as a standalone biometric modality.

Besides the scientific outputs, this project has been recognized in multiple entrepreneurship and innovation forums. Vitalidi has been raked #1 at the Acredita Portugal innovation competition, it has been ranked in the Top 10 at the European Young Innovators Forum awards, and it won the Best Startup and Best Pitch awards at the Beta-i/IE Business School Venture Day Lisbon.

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Lisbon, Portugal

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E-mail: info@vitalidi.com

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