The Latest Security Measure? Your Mental State

Meet a security system that analyzes your brainwaves to determine if your well-being is sufficient to grant access to systems.


You’ve heard of Emotional Intelligence, well, now a new term could be creeping into our vocabulary: Emotional Security.

According to an article in, a security system is being developed that analyzes a user’s brainwaves to determine if that person is in a fit mental state to access something—an ATM, a building entrance or computer data, for example.

This goes beyond biometrics (an eye scan or a fingerprint) and directly into your emotional well-being. Researchers at the University of Iasi in Romania are factoring in an emotional detector into biometric security. After all, we are emotional beings, and our mental state may impact our decisions.

So, in the new approach to security, “the system is trained to recognize a user's emotional 'fingerprint' based on the patterns of electrical brainwaves they generate when presented with specific, evocative auditive stimuli,” according to the article. “Each emotional state is matched to a given pattern and these are then associated with particular configurations of the system that allow or preclude access to given resources.”

The researchers see applications in the military, electronic learning and health care.

But imagine you are stressed out and trying to withdraw some much-needed money from the ATM. If you’re acting a little off, well, access denied!

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