Computers of the future may flag us by how hard we mash our keyboards.

If you haven’t played Dear Esther, you should. It’s an experiment in story-telling, a ghost story if you will.  But you can’t run. Literally. There’s no button for it, so I ended up mashing the forward key very hard as I sauntered.

As it turns out, researchers are looking to those intereactions with keyboards as a way to replace passwords. According to the NYT, DARPA is working on software that will use our typing styles to identify us. Carnegie Mellon’s Roy Maxion discussed the possibility of “keystroke dynamics.”

Motions that we’ve performed countless times, Professor Maxion says, are governed by motor control, not deliberate thought. “That is why successfully mimicking keystroke dynamics is physiologically improbable,” he says. 

The idea would be that passwords would be more human-friendly (and less memory-dependent) if your typing style was as unique as your fingerprint. I am slightly worried, however, that a long, frustrating day at work (or a 20 minute session of QWOP) might make me seem angrier than I really am.

[Via Slate]