A dead man’s phone is as good as incompetent when no one has authorized access to their password. Now, thanks to 3D printing, it’s becoming possible to gain access to necessary files.
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The Michigan police department is hoping to gain access to a murder victim’s phone by employing Michigan State University’s computer science and engineering professor Anil Jain. With the use of fingerprint scans, replication is in development.
Is it possible to do such a thing? According to CEO and founder of VisMed-3D, Dima Elissa says, “I absolutely think it’s possible but I think it’s really a combination of getting the right hardware and the right materials, conductive materials in a way that can be used in a match.” The company specializes in 3D prints of body parts. They help surgeons plan for procedures using such products.
Utilizing a severed finger would not work in gaining access to the phone because they are designed with capacitive touch. It needs an electrical circuit and conductive materials to work. The skin can conduct electricity just like some metals and plastics. This is why Jain will create a replica of the fingerprint using a plastic figure along with metallic particles.
Besides using the right materials, the quality of the fingerprint scan is another factor to a successful project.
The need for a person’s passcode can be bypassed using a touch code feature. Still, this seems like a hot issue to cover due to privacy reasons. Future cases may call for the authorities to demand access to a citizen’s phone. Just this year, the FBI asked Apple to unlock a suspected terrorist’s cell phone.
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Is there a market for such a cell phone service? Only time will tell.
Source: Chicago Tribune