AirSignature: Security For The Future
In action movies such as Mission Impossible, individuals are often shown gaining access to a top secret location after their entire walking movement has been examined by a camera. Such security mechanisms may be a reality soon, due to latest developments in motion-based authentication technology.
This technology relies on the fact that each of us moves in a different way, and these mannerisms can be used to confirm our identity. With the increased importance of cybersecurity in today’s connected world, there is potential for the application of such technologies to safeguard data in devices used in everyday life.
A team from the Sensored-Enhanced Social Media (SeSaMe) Centre of the Interactive & Digital Media Institute has developed the AirSignature, a motion-based authentication technology, for the enabling the security of a variety of portable smart devices.
The AirSignature is a software code, which can be embedded within the mobile device. It relies on the devices’ inbuilt sensors, such as 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. AirSignature is robust even in the presence of slight variations in a user’s motion, however specific enough to prevent unauthorised access.
AirSignature is able to track, detect, save and recognise unique motion signatures, which can be used to authorise access to a range of devices. Devices powered by the AirSignature can measure a user’s specific motions, such as the way they sign their names in the air while holding the device. This particular “air-signature” is then used to verify the user’s identity. As individuals move differently, it is highly unlikely that someone else can copy the same movement, even if they know the motion.
Applications and Advantages
Potential applications include unlocking mobile devices, preventing credit card fraud, game mechanics for consoles, as well as security for various smart appliances. AirSignature can be used to ensure the privacy of stored information, in the case of a lost or stolen device. Such user authentication is more intuitive than a simple number or password, and easier for users to remember. It also helps to ensure that only that one specific user has authentication, as it is not possible for another individual to mimic the movement in exactly the same way. The demand for this technology is expected to increase significantly, as more consumers are storing confidential data and information on their mobile devices.
NUS has applied for a patent for this technology and is seeking commercial partners or licensors to further develop this technology and bring it to market.
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