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Self-Powered Intelligent Keyboard Could Provide a New Layer of Security

By Georgia Tech News Center

February 2, 2015

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Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) researchers have developed a self-powered non-mechanical intelligent keyboard that could provide a stronger layer of security for computer users.

The self-powered device generates electricity when a user's fingertips contact the multi-layer plastic materials that make up the keyboard.

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

The intelligent keyboard records each letter touched, and captures information about the amount of force applied to the key and the length of time between one keystroke and the next, which could provide a new biometric for securing computers from unauthorized use.

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

The researchers evaluated the authentication potential of the keyboard by asking 104 users to type the word "touch" four times, and recorded the electrical patterns produced. Using signal analysis techniques, they differentiated individual typing patterns with low error rates, Wang says.

From Georgia Tech News Center
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