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Capacitive Touch Communication: A Technique to Input Data through Devices' Touch Screen
Jan. 2014 (vol. 13 no. 1)
pp. 4-19
Tam Vu, Rutgers University, North Brunswick
Akash Baid, Rutgers University, North Brunswick
Simon Gao, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Marco Gruteser, Rutgers University, North Brunswick
Richard Howard, Winlab/Rutgers University
Janne Lindqvist, Winlab/Rutgers University
Predrag Spasojevic, Rutgers University, North Brunswick
Jeffrey Walling, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
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 data rates that are useful for providing less obtrusive authentication with similar assurance as PIN codes or swipe patterns commonly used on smartphones today.
Index Terms:
Authentication,Receivers,Hardware,Software,Capacitance,Smart phones,mobile communications,Authentication,Receivers,Hardware,Software,Capacitance,Smart phones,capacitive screen,Capacitive touch communication,touchscreen,authentication,identification
Citation:
Tam Vu, Akash Baid, Simon Gao, Marco Gruteser, Richard Howard, Janne Lindqvist, Predrag Spasojevic, Jeffrey Walling, "Capacitive Touch Communication: A Technique to Input Data through Devices' Touch Screen," IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 4-19, Jan. 2014, doi:10.1109/TMC.2013.116
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