27 January 2015

Keyboard That Knows Who is Typing With It: Power and Clean Itself Too

Digital security is now a major concern entire world, oh yes, we have a good reason to be nervous about it. While we are most likely engaged on online shopping or internet banking, we are most likely afraid to become a victim of cyber-security breaches (thefts, malware, & password issues).

Indeed, internet security MUST be SECURED and PROTECTED the user accounts and files from intrusion by an unauthorized user.

Passwords are now weakening in the digital security and encryption is a one step to the right direction for protection, but it is not yet sufficient solution either. Biometric fingerprint readers is a great alternative yet it has limitations too. So how about a keyboard that knows who is typing it in real-time? If it detects an intruder based on unfamiliar keystrokes, it will lock the entire process, is it a cool feature?
Energy-generating  keyboard
Energy-generating  keyboard. Image: Techcrunch
To think that a single Computer keyboard is considered to be one of the most common reliable tool used for human-machine information exchange.

Thus, the idea of this keyboard that knows who is typing with it.

Now, a bunch of scientists from Georgia Institute of Tech and research labs in China have already developed a keyboard prototype device that can generate energy to power itself, it can clean itself, and it can sense the typing style of the user.

According to TechCrunch post, these low profile keys have a top electrification layer which generate charges from typing friction (contact electrification).

This keyboard can register individual keystroke data that can be tracked typing style which ideally can lock the process if it detects unfamiliar keyboard strokes.
“The keyboard identify the force and speed at which the typer input characters. This is not available in today’s cell phone at all. The keyboard can identify personality in information input so that it is a high level of security,” Zhong Lin Wang, one of the scientists involved in the research, told TechCrunch. 
The power generated can automatically send signals to the computer so that no power is needed for the keyboard.

Personalized Keystroke Dynamics for Self-Powered Human-Machine Interfacing

In addition, a research paper project called Personalized Keystroke Dynamics for Self-Powered Human-Machine Interfacing is already published in ACSNano Journal.

Several discussion have been made:
  • Device Structure
  • Electrical Signals Generation Process
  • Intelligent Keyboard as a Self-Securing System
  • Intelligent Keyboard for Keystroke Dynamics
  • Intelligent Keyboard for Biometric Authentication
  • Intelligent Keyboard for Capturing Wasted Energy
  • Contact Area Improvement
  • Reliability and Reproducibility
Read more here: Research paper: 

Scientists argue about the algorithms that can identify the user who is typing the keyboard and is more limited than its hardware-based approach (typing-induced electric signals).

In the paper, it writes: 
the use of keystroke dynamics for verification and identification purposes was extensively investigated, since they are inexpensive and less intrusive and can be implemented easily on top of the current authentication systems without major modification.(13, 14) However, keystroke dynamics has developed rather slowly and is still at its very early stage, partially because almost all of the proposed studies rely on dimensional keystroke timing vectors as typing patterns, which can only communicate the keystroke timing characteristics, thus rendering this biometric measure lacking in universality, uniqueness, permanence, accuracy, and acceptability.(15-18) A breakthrough is desperately needed to obtain a unique and permanent typing pattern that can be used as an effective identifier/calibration for practical applications. In this work, the typing-induced electric signals can not only differentiate keystroke timing but also quantitatively record concrete dynamic changes in the course of typing using the self-generated electric current and voltage signals. It offers an unprecedentedly accurate, unique, and permanent typing pattern for further verification and recognition purposes. Meanwhile, Daubechies Wavelet of order 4 (DB4) was employed to successfully classify and identify the typing patterns. More importantly, with reliance on the obtained typing patterns, a biometric authentication system was established. Compared with the state-of-the-art biometric techniques,(19, 20) a remarkably lower Equal Error Rate (EER) value of 1.34% was achieved at the threshold of 0.37.

Since it is energy-generating keyboard, how about power source? 

According to the research paper, there is no external power source required for the keyboard to function because it has a self-powering capabilities and features. With that approach too, it can generated less energy on this smart keyboard.

It adds:

Given such features as self-securing, self-powering, and self-cleaning, as well as unique applicability resulting from distinctive mechanism and one-piece non-mechanical-punching structure, the IKB presented in this work is a practical approach in converting typing motions for self-powered electronics as well as a milestone in the development toward a highly secure behavioral biometrics-based authentication system, which will have extensive applications in the fields of artificial intelligence, cyber security, and computer or network access control. 
Given its exceptional properties of self-securing, self-powering, and self-cleaning, as well as cost-effectiveness and unique applicability resulting from distinctive mechanism and one-piece non-mechanical-punching structure, the IKB is a practical approach in converting typing motions for either sensing or energy harvesting purposes. Moreover, it is worth noting that, as the most comment input tool today, keyboards widely exist in our daily life, from cash registers to automated banking machines, and from musical instrument to game machines. The justified concepts and demonstrations in this work can be immediately and extensively adopted in a variety of applications, and ultimately improving our way of living.
Good thing The U.S. Department of Energy contributed funding to the research.

Source: TechCrunch


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