Distinguishing users with capacitive touch communication

Tam Vu, Akash Baid, Simon Gao, Marco Gruteser, Richard Howard, Janne Lindqvist, Predrag Spasojevic, Jeffrey Walling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As we are surrounded by an ever-larger variety of post-PC devices, the traditional methods for identifying and authenticating users have become cumbersome and time-consuming. In this paper, we present a capacitive communication method through which a device can recognize who is interacting with it. This method exploits the capacitive touchscreens, which are now used in laptops, phones, and tablets, as a signal receiver. The signal that identifies the user can be generated by a small transmitter embedded into a ring, watch, or other artifact carried on the human body. We explore two example system designs with a low-power continuous transmitter that communicates through the skin and a signet ring that needs to be touched to the screen. Experiments with our prototype transmitter and tablet receiver show that capacitive communication through a touchscreen is possible, even without hardware or firmware modifications on a receiver. This latter approach imposes severe limits on the data rate, but the rate is sufficient for differentiating users in multiplayer tablet games or parental control applications. Controlled experiments with a signal generator also indicate that future designs may be able to achieve datarates that are useful for providing less obtrusive authentication with similar assurance as PIN codes or swipe patterns commonly used on smartphones today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMobiCom'12 - Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking
Pages197-208
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 28 2012
Event18th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2012 - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: Aug 22 2012Aug 26 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM

Other

Other18th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2012
CountryTurkey
CityIstanbul
Period8/22/128/26/12

Fingerprint

Transmitters
Touch screens
Communication
Signal receivers
Signal generators
Firmware
Smartphones
Watches
Authentication
Computer hardware
Skin
Experiments
Systems analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Keywords

  • Capacitive touch communication
  • Distinguishing users
  • Signetring
  • Touchscreen communication
  • User identification

Cite this

Vu, T., Baid, A., Gao, S., Gruteser, M., Howard, R., Lindqvist, J., ... Walling, J. (2012). Distinguishing users with capacitive touch communication. In MobiCom'12 - Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (pp. 197-208). (Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM). https://doi.org/10.1145/2348543.2348569
Vu, Tam ; Baid, Akash ; Gao, Simon ; Gruteser, Marco ; Howard, Richard ; Lindqvist, Janne ; Spasojevic, Predrag ; Walling, Jeffrey. / Distinguishing users with capacitive touch communication. MobiCom'12 - Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking. 2012. pp. 197-208 (Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM).
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Vu, T, Baid, A, Gao, S, Gruteser, M, Howard, R, Lindqvist, J, Spasojevic, P & Walling, J 2012, Distinguishing users with capacitive touch communication. in MobiCom'12 - Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM, pp. 197-208, 18th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2012, Istanbul, Turkey, 8/22/12. https://doi.org/10.1145/2348543.2348569

Distinguishing users with capacitive touch communication. / Vu, Tam; Baid, Akash; Gao, Simon; Gruteser, Marco; Howard, Richard; Lindqvist, Janne; Spasojevic, Predrag; Walling, Jeffrey.

MobiCom'12 - Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking. 2012. p. 197-208 (Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Vu T, Baid A, Gao S, Gruteser M, Howard R, Lindqvist J et al. Distinguishing users with capacitive touch communication. In MobiCom'12 - Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking. 2012. p. 197-208. (Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM). https://doi.org/10.1145/2348543.2348569