Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Motion sensing for authentication?

Wired has a piece on various potential applications of motion sensors - the latest of which is the Nike shoes/Apple iPod integration.

Why not put a sensor in a hardware token? The something you have would be the token, and the something you know would be some programmed sequence of motions, e.g. left-right-left-up-down.

Might make people look like nervous 3rd base coaches or Catholic priests conducting a Mass. That would be a nice humourous bonus for bystanders.

Or perhaps the sensors will eventually be sufficiently smart to distinguish the owner's gait from that of anybody else? Could it recognize my bad left knee? Recommend appropriate physiotherapy?

1 comment:

Robin Wilton said...

IBM used to make a 'digital signing' pen, in the 4754 product. It was a ballpoint pen, but the barrel also housed a pressure sensor and two lateral motion sensors. It used the latter to measure acceleration along the x and y axes as the user signed their name.

It then used the input from all three sensors to generate a unique digital value from the signature. Interestingly, within certain limits on the data stored, it didn't matter whether what you wrote was your signature or just an arbitrary phrase.

In the technical training sessions, this opened up countless opportunities for self-referential amusement, with 'signatures' such as:

"This signature is a forgery" and

"Put all the cash in this hold-all"

Oh, how we laughed.