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Intelligent keyboard can identify users from their individual touch

by Mark Tyson on 27 January 2015, 09:35

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A new keyboard called the IKB, or the 'intelligent keyboard' is touted as the latest method to provide better cyber security against people gaining unauthorised access to computers. The device filters out strangers, only responding to the genuine users' biometric password as it analyses the unique patterns in their keystrokes. It also generates electricity with every key press which is then used to power the keyboard and optionally provide power to other attached peripherals.

Developed by researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California Riverside, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the self-powered keyboard harnesses the electricity created by the touching of its multi-layer plastic keys to power itself and attached peripherals. The researchers say that by touching the key, the user creates a current that is sent through the layers to create an electric charge, an effect known as contact electrification. The layered material can be easily attached to a regular keyboard so in the future your current favourite keyboard could be IKB-ified.

"This intelligent keyboard changes the traditional way in which a keyboard is used for information input," says Zhong Lin Wang, a professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "Every punch of the keys produces a complex electrical signal that can be recorded and analyzed."

The IKB senses typing patterns, the level of pressure applied to keys and user typing speed, accumulating data that is enough to distinguish one individual from another. These unique typing styles could be used to provide a new kind of biometric authentication.

"This has the potential to be a new means for identifying users," says Wang. "With this system, a compromised password would not allow a cyber-criminal onto the computer. The way each person types even a few words is individual and unique."

The team tested the device on 104 people, where they were split into two groups. The 'clients' group were asked to provide their biometric password by typing the word 'touch' four times on the IKB whilst the 'imposters' would attempt to gain access by imitating a similar pattern. Results of the test show that the IKB had a very low error rate of 1.34 per cent in identifying the real user against potential thieves. That's not bad for a 'frictionless' extra level of security.

The IKB is still in the early stages of development, and the team believes that with the help of investors, the keyboard can be bought to the market in two years. The durable keyboard is dirt, oil and water-proof and could have a wide variety of potential applications including for cash registers, ATMs and network security systems.

HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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Hello IT?
- Yes?
I've hurt my hand and my computer won't let me log in anymore!
- Have you tried turning it off and on again?
You mean the computer or my hand?
- Both.
- OK I'll reset your login, but you do sound suspiciously more European that last week, not a Russian spy are you?
Errrrr no.
- OK fine, done, bye.
you do sound suspiciously more European that last week, not a Russian spy are you?

TIL Russian spies have a European accent.
not a Russian spy are you?
Uh, nyet.
In holly movies they took their thumb print but it takes the whole hand print cool one
But it should hav a sensor for the defind user as it should calculate the pressure of the typing of the user n mannage to secure the computer
But its waste of time n money for common man
But still how it gonna cost our pocket???
The **** is a european accent?