If a project funded by the Defense Department goes well, then new technology to verify identity and ultimately to assign a \u201crisk score\u201d to you could be new smartphones within two years.The identity verification tech will be embedded in the hardware of smartphones. Steve Wallace, technical director at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), told Nextgov that the tech \u201cwill analyze a variety of identifiers that are unique to an individual, such as the hand pressure and wrist tension when the person holds a smartphone and the person\u2019s peculiar gait while walking.\u201dOrganizations that use the tool can combine those identifiers to give the phone holder a \u201crisk score,\u201d Wallace said. If the risk score is low enough, the organization can presume the person is who she says she is and grant her access to sensitive files on the phone or on a connected computer or grant her access to a secure facility. If the score\u2019s too high, she\u2019ll be locked out.A GPS tracker, not the type used by mapping and exercise apps, may also be built into the chips in order to \u201cstore encrypted information about a person\u2019s movements,\u201d Wallace said. \u201cThe verification tool would analyze historical information about a person\u2019s locations and major, recent anomalies would raise the person\u2019s risk score.\u201dWallace did not say which private company is developing the tech with DISA funding, but the unnamed company is supposed to hand over 75 or so prototypes to DISA in the fall. After working out the bugs, \u201cmajor companies will begin embedding the necessary tools inside the computer chips that power smartphones.\u201dThe point of the project is to allow the Pentagon to move away from using common access cards to verify identity. Unlike common access cards, the new hardware tool \u201cwill be able to continuously gather and verify that identifying information.\u201dAlthough gait recognition is a biometric identifier, the verification tool won\u2019t include the usual biometric suspects such as fingerprints or iris scans because \u201cexisting commercial applications of biometric information are too easy to spoof.\u201d If that changes, then the Pentagon may allow common biometric data in the tool.Wallace opted not to say which smartphone and chipmakers will participate in the project, yet he did suggest the capability will be available \u201cin the vast majority of mobile devices\u201d within two years. While it will be up to organizations to decide whether or not to use this new form of identity verification, Wallace said, \u201cWe foresee it being used quite widely.\u201dWhat happens when hand pressure and gait changes?Barring hand or wrist injuries that could result in a change to hand pressure and wrist tension when holding a phone, I\u2019m curious how much \u201crisk\u201d will be assigned to changes in a person\u2019s normal grip on their phone. Maybe hands-free and\/or speaker phone would be the way to go if the call involves stress or aggravation? I don\u2019t know about you, but sometimes I want to throw the phone after being on hold for a very long time and continuing to hear, \u201cYour call is very important to us. All representatives are currently busy. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received.\u201dGait too can change if a person is injured or ill, which could change the \u201crisk score.\u201d It will be interesting to learn what all unique identifiers will be harvested and analyzed and then to see if security researchers can blow holes in this new identity verification plan.