Finger Vibration-based Security System “VibWrite” can work on any Solid Surface

Finger Vibration-based Security System “VibWrite” can work on any Solid Surface


Rutgers engineers have created VibWrite, a smart access system that senses finger vibrations to verify users. The low-cost security system could eventually
be used to gain access to homes, apartment buildings, cars, appliances – anything with
a solid surface. Everyone’s finger bone structure is unique,
and their fingers apply different pressures on surfaces, so sensors that detect subtle
physiological and behavioral differences can identify and authenticate a person. The market for smart security access systems
is expected to grow rapidly, reaching nearly $10 billion by 2022. Today’s smart security access systems mainly
rely on traditional techniques that use intercoms, cameras, cards or fingerprints to authenticate
users. But these systems require costly equipment,
complex hardware installation and diverse maintenance needs. The goal of VibWrite is to allow user verification
when fingers touch any solid surface. VibWrite integrates passcode, behavioral and
physiological characteristics. It builds on a touch-sensing technique by
using vibration signals. It’s different than traditional, password-based
approaches, which validate passwords instead of legitimate users, as well as behavioral
biometrics-based solutions, which typically involve touch screens, fingerprint readers
or other costly hardware and lead to privacy concerns and “smudge attacks” that trace
oily residues on surfaces from fingers. Smart access systems that use fingerprinting
and iris-recognition are very secure, but they’re probably more than 10 times as expensive
as this new VibWrite system. VibWrite allows users to choose from PINs,
lock patterns or gestures to gain secure access. The authentication process can be performed
on any solid surface beyond touch screens and on any screen size. It is resilient to “side-channel attacks”
– when someone places a hidden vibration receiver on the surface or uses a nearby microphone
to capture vibration signals. It also resists several other types of attacks,
including when an attacker learns passcodes after observing a user multiple times. A great benefit is that a VibWrite system
is low-cost and uses minimal power. It includes an inexpensive vibration motor
and receiver, and it can turn any solid surface into an authentication surface. Both hardware installation and maintenance
are easy, and VibWrite probably could be commercialized in a couple of years.

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