New Technology Could Let You Unlock Doors with Your Bones

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Keys. They take up valuable room in your pockets and are constantly getting lost. You know what doesn’t get lost? Your skeleton.

In the future, we all might be opening doors with our skeletons thanks to technology developed by AT&T Labs that transmits a unique vibration through your body to do things like… well, unlock doors. Giving a new meaning to the phrase “slide to unlock,” the device would be embedded in your smartphone and use piezoelectric transducers to transmit signals through your body and into a receiver.

The result? A doorknob that only responds to people it’s been programmed to accept. According to Popular Science, you wouldn’t be able to feel the vibrations at all and one day the system could be designed to transmit different signals depending on the size and density of your skeleton. That means nobody could steal your phone and gain entrance to your home because the signal would be completely unique to your body.

This technology has other implications as well. According to GigaOM, researchers have considered it as an alternative to near-field communications technology, meaning you could give someone your digital business card simply by shaking their hand. Why is that easier than just tapping your smartphones together?

Well, it’s not, which is why I can’t see this actually taking off as a consumer product. I also can’t see this replacing keys, which are neither inconvenient or expensive, giving people little incentive to spend money on a fancy new piece of technology. As for sensitive government agencies, this definitely seems like something they could use, provided they don’t have something like it already.