Tablet computers like the iPad may soon authenticate their rightful users by reading the unique movement of their hands, not their passwords.
Napa Sae-Bae, a doctoral student at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, is working to build an app that, using multitouch sensors, will biometrically authenticate tablet users’ hand gestures, the Discovery News reported.
She told NextGov that her goal is for the tablet device to recognize its owner’s specific biological traits -- their hand shape and finger length, for example -- and use those unique characteristics, which do not change, to replace passwords, which run the risk of being cracked.
Although she said it will be at least a year before her app is ready, Sae-Bae has already developed an iPad app that asks users to make gestures on a touch screen, such as rotating an open palm and opening a closed fist, in order to verify their identity.
The hand sensor technologies she’s using are currently available and already used, in different capacities, on iPads and Android tablets.
She also built a biometric-analyzing algorithm that will be the technological basis of the app.
In experiments with 34 people, she achieved a 90 percent accuracy rate in authenticating the hand movements made by each participant, NextGov said.