Personal Identifier Query
I’m asked: “What if someone takes my smartphone?”
The query opened with “what if someone takes my smartphone?” A question framed in that “I gotcha” way. That’s cool, well-intentioned but…
I explained, the smartphone learns the human physiological traits of its owner or assignee, the first user to me and to Personal Identifier. In other words, over a period of seven days, her smartphone would learn a set of her human traits. These are learned so long as the device is in her possession and that which is learned is filed away by day and time of day. Thus, for any day of the week and for any time of that day her smartphone knows her typical human traits of that moment.
With this knowledge, the device knows when it’s in the possession of a human, a critically important bit of knowledge for any device proclaiming to serve in the identification process. It’s also aware of that human’s identification, or in other words, her smartphone would know when it is in her actual possession. It would also recognize human in possession other than the first user, or in this case the caller. An application querying her smartphone for possession status and reading that status directly from her smartphone is assured that at that instant her smartphone is either not in human possession, in her possession or in possession of someone other than her.
The conversation trailed on a bit further when she asked: “[w]ell what traits do you monitor? Can you give me an example?”
I chose the human trait of walking. Most of us do it and we all understand the basic concepts. I told her that not only can I distinguish her walk uniquely from all others but I could also detect both her age group and gender. She thinks about this for a moment and blurts out: “aha, but what about a transgender person?” “What about an extremist transgender male who adopts a feminine walking style?” She failed to recognize the importance of the walk itself, not the gender or age grouping.
The intent is to learn the self-propelled traits of the first user, in this instance to learn exactly how she walks, when she walks and where she walks. I want to know every aspect of her walking: step; stride; pace; distance; direction and more. From the standpoint of walking, that is what sets all of us apart from each other. For example, I learn she takes a power walk each day between 4:00 and 7:00 AM and I know where she does so and how far she normally walks. I know her walking patterns throughout the day while at her office, not only her walk but also her geophysical location and environmental location. I know when she is walking at home and in the store shopping. I summed up by explaining that no other person on the planet can duplicate her walking patterns. In recognizing those patterns I can within very few steps tell if the person in possession is her or not.
Ah, she said and we said our goodbyes’. I think she now understands, I hope she does.