3D Pattern Lock

The 3D Pattern authentication technique enables people to unlock their smartphones by hovering their finger above the screen. It is more resistant to “smudge attacks” (fingerprint residues left on the screen), and shows promise for being more resistant to “shoulder-surfing attacks” (someone else looks at your screen and sees your PIN or pattern). Our authentication technique is enabled by “pre-touch”, a feature that may become available in commercial smartphones. Pre-touch enables your phone to sense your finger's position before it even touches the screen. We prototyped our authentication technique by simulating pre-touch using a motion capture system. This involved putting retro-reflective markers on the phone and on the user's thumb.

Publication + Technical Report + Source Code