October 7, 2014 -
A Raytheon network security engineer has been awarded a patent for a computer mouse equipped with biometric pressure sensors that is able to authenticate a user’s identity, according to a report by Digital Trends.
Filed by Glenn Kaufman, patent No. 8,762,734 is for a smart gun-inspired biometric pressure grip that can be integrated into different parts of a computer mouse to track a user’s biometrics in the form of a pressure reading.
The neurological pattern taken from an individual’s exact grip of the mouse is a stronger alternative to other biometric identification methods, said Kaufman.
“It’s not just how much pressure you exert on the mouse itself, but it’s also the x-y coordinates of your position,” Kaufman told Computerworld.
Based on the pressure readings from a user’s grip, the mouse is able to generate a neurological number that can then be compared to the registered neurological number for the computer connected to the mouse.
If the numbers align then the user is given access to the computer, but if the numbers do not align then they will be denied access.
Based on the results of various trial tests, Kaufman concluded that the mouse had a failure rate of one in 10,000, which is comparable to the failure rate of pressure-sensitive gun grips.
But despite the patent, Kaufman said that the pressure-sensitive mouse is not intended to serve as a replacement for other user authentication forms, nor does Raytheon have any plans to mass produce the product.
In addition to a computer mouse, the pressure sensor can also be used in joysticks, palm pad controllers, remote controls and touchscreens, according to the patent.