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HID Global Seeks to Improve RFID Security Via Hand Gestures

The company is developing software that will allow a user to perform a series of hand-motion sequences to authorize operation of an RFID card or a smartphone's RFID functionality.
By Beth Bacheldor
Aug 09, 2013

HID Global is developing new products that add an additional layer of security to RFID-based secure identity, access control and other applications using smartphones, tablets and other devices such as smart cards. The technology—for which HID Global has received several patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office—consists of gesture-based software designed to recognize sequences of three-dimensional hand motions and that works in conjunction with RFID cards or RFID-enabled handheld devices.

The HID Global U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the patents ( US8,427,320 and US8,232,879) for "directional sensing mechanism and communications authentication" to HID Global within the past year, and the company has now included in the technology in its product roadmap, with plans to commercially develop the software-only solution, likely within two years. The software will allow a user to define a series of hand-motion sequences or gestures that can be used to control operation of an RFID card or handheld device, including those based on Near Field Communication (NFC) standards.

HID Global's Tam Hulusi
The technology creates an additional authentication factor; with the gesture-based software incorporated into an NFC-enabled smartphone, for example, that phone will have to be moved in a particular, predefined way in order for the NFC RFID chip to unlock its unique ID. As the phone's owner rotates the handset in a sequence of movements (any variation of forward, backward, up, down, left and right and including rotations and sliding motions), the smartphone's accelerometer (the technology that determines a smartphone has been turned on its side and then adjusts the screen view accordingly) senses the motion sequence and shares that with the gesture-based software. If the sequence is legitimate, the NFC chip will unlock its unique ID and other sensitive data, so the interrogator can read it.

The software can also be incorporated into an RFID-enabled smart card. In this case, the smart card would include a battery-powered mechanism such as a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) or accelerometer that is capable of sensing movement of the RFID device.


James Reardan 2013-08-18 02:28:16 AM
Wow, HID gradually expanding their market...

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