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This Touch Screen Knows Your Touch

By Technology Review

August 31, 2012

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Rutgers University researchers have developed a device that could enable rapid switching between settings for people who share the same device, allow a game to distinguish between multiple players using the same screen, replace passwords, or provide another layer of protection in addition to passwords. The technology involves a battery-powered ring with flash memory that holds a code, and a signal generator that transmits the code as tiny voltage spikes. Touch screens then pick up those spikes, and software on the phone reads them as password-like data.

"Imagine every electronic gadget knowing who you are and adapting to your preferences, or even offering you personalized information" because it knows your touch, says Duke University's Romit Roy Choudhury, who notes the technology "opens new directions in user interaction and authentication."

The Rutgers approach has great potential because many devices already support swiping, but few commercial devices have retina readers or finger scanners. "The key to figuring out who is using a device is to understand who is touching the screen, and that is what our technology can do," says Rutgers professor Marco Gruteser.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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