Researchers of Georgia Institute of Technology have developed the self-powered intelligent keyboard which is non- mechanical and could provide one stronger layer of security for computer users. This self-powered device is able to generate electricity when any user’s fingertip contact the multi-layer plastic materials that make-up keyboard.
It is expected that soon intelligent keyboard will change the traditional use of keyboard, said Zhong Lin Wang Professor of Georgia Tech. Each and every punch on the keys will produce the complex electrical signal which can be record and analyzed for reliability and authenticity of users. This intelligent keyboard can record each and every stroke to capture the information of time and force applied on the key and time difference between each keystroke, which could work as a new biometric to secure the computers from un-lawful or unauthorized use. Now compromised passwords will not allow a cybercriminal to operate the computers because each individual types in different unique way. While evaluating the authenticity potential of keyboards 104 users’ type “touch” word four times and produced the electrical pattern for recording. With the help of signal analysis techniques it was easy to differentiate the typing patterns of each individual however the error rate was low.
Structure of Intelligent keyboard:
Apart from the individual mechanical keys which was same as in traditional keyboards, intelligent keyboard of Wang is made up of vertically-stacked film material which is transparent. However researchers stated with the layer of polyethylene terephthalate which was between two layers of ITO (Indium tin oxide) from bottom and top of the electrodes. After that a layer of FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) is applied onto the ITO surface for serving same as electrification layer, which is capable to generate the triboelectric charges when anyone touches it by fingertips.
The keyboard’s operation is simple as it is based on the coupling of electrostatic induction and contact electrification rather than the mechanical switching of traditional keyboard. When the user’s finger contacts the FEP, than it transfer the charge at the injecting electrons and contact interface from the skin into the material by creating the positive charge.
According to Wang, in near future this new smart keyboard will be competitive product for traditional keyboards in terms of cost as well as durability because this new device is based on inexpensive materials which are already in use in the electronics industry. A group of researchers evaluated the keyboard under different conditions, including application of oil, dirt and including. In result it was clear that even if you will pour tea on the keyboards it would not be damaged as it is based on the sheets of plastic and normal liquid will not hurt it.
The research team of Wang was included Guang Zhu from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems; Jun Chen from Georgia Tech’s School of Materials Science and Engineering; Jin Yang from Chongqing University; Qingshen Jing, Peng Bai, Weiqing Yang, and Yuanjie Su from Georgia Tech and Xuewei Qi from the University of California.
These research reports were published in the online journal ACS Nano on December 30 whereas; it was sponsored by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences from U.S. Department of Energy.