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Lose Your Keys, Forever

Did you know over a lifetime, people spend an average 3,680 hours—or 153 days—searching for lost items? House and car keys are among the most frequently lost items, but with innovations from Intel Labs, you may soon lose your keys forever. 

Intel Labs innovation 

You have turned over the couch cushions, pawed through the trash, and even checked the refrigerator drawers. You still cannot find your car keys, and you are late for an appointment. Sound a bit too familiar?

With innovations from Intel Labs, you may soon lose your keys forever—and be happy about it. “That includes your car keys, house keys, and even ‘virtual keys’ like the passwords and pins you use to access your PC, online accounts, and ATMs,” says Vu Nguyen, technology evangelism manager, Intel Labs. Someday, he explains, you could walk up to an ATM anywhere in the world, and it will address you by name and let you make a transaction without a PIN.

Through research and technology from Intel Labs, you would “become” your own key or password. “We’re studying how people interact with devices, and using these relationships to extract data from facial geometry, biometric data like fingerprints, your skeletal structure, the way you move, and your voice,” says Nguyen. “Taken together, this data is unique to you, it is with you wherever you go, and through this intelligent authentication method, it’s difficult to fake.” 

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Intel Labs showed early versions of the keyless lifestyle at Research@Intel in 2012, where a digital door unlocked when it “recognized” the face and handprint of a person authorized to enter. “We’re working to protect your privacy and ensure your identity data is yours and yours alone,” says Nguyen. Intel Labs aims to provide context-aware, worry-free, protected experiences by combining imaging and sensors to recognize individuals and provide appropriate access through multilayer authentication.

What does this all mean? Keys—a technology invented some 4,000 years ago—may become obsolete in 10 years or so. And you may gain some time since you will no longer need to search for them. 

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