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New innovation could put an end to smartphone thefts forever

Published Apr 9th, 2014 11:00AM EDT

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Every other month it seems like researchers at some tech company or university come up with clever new ways to prevent or deter smartphone thieves. However, some researchers at Georgia Tech have come up with a new system called LatentGesture that really does have the potential to end smartphone theft once and for all.

Georgia Tech says that some of its cybersecurity researchers have “developed a new security system that continuously monitors how a user taps and swipes a mobile device” and can be programmed to lock the device up if those particular taps and swipes don’t match up with an authorized user’s unique movements. So basically, the software will track the hand you most often use for navigating your device, the size of the impression you make with your finger when you tap on it and the swiping motions you make with your fingers, among many other things.

Just like your fingerprint, everyone is unique when they use a touchscreen,” explains Polo Chau, a Georgia Tech computer science assistant professor who headed up the project. “Some people slide the bar with one quick swipe. Others gradually move it across the screen. Everyone taps the screen with different pressures while checking boxes.”

Chau and his team will present their work at the ACM Chinese CHI 2014 computing symposium in Toronto later this month.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.