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Scientists develop keyboard prototype that identifies users by touch and typing style


A group of scientists from Georgia Institute of Tech and research labs in China have developed a keyboard prototype that identifies the owner in real-time and locks out any unauthorized users based on unfamiliar keystrokes, according to a report by TechCrunch.

The non-mechanical keyboard senses touch and typing style, generates energy to power itself, and self cleans, as a result of its dirt repellent coating design.

The keyboard’s low profile keys have a top electrification layer that allows them to generate charge simply from friction.

This, in turn, enables the keyboard to register individual keystroke data and track typing style, or to apply the typing friction towards generating an electrical charge for powering other devices.

The scientists detail the research project, partly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, in an ACSNano journal-published paper entitled “Personalized Keystroke Dynamics for Self-Powered Human–Machine Interfacing”.

In the paper, the scientists write, “…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.”

Typing on the smart keyboard can generate enough energy to charge “small electronics at arbitrary typing speed greater than 100 characters per min”.

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