A feasibility study on pairinga smartwatch and a mobile devicethrough multi-modal gestures

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Pairing is the process of establishing an association between two personal devices. Although such a process is intuitively very simple, achieving a straightforward and secure association is challenging due to several possible attacks and usability-related issues. Indeed, malicious attackers might want to spoof the communication between devices in order to gather sensitive information or harm them. Moreover, offering users simple and usable schemes which attain a high level of security remains a major issue. In addition, due to the great diversity of pairing scenarios and equipment, achieving a single, usable, secure association for all possible devices and use cases is simply not possible.In this thesis, we study the feasibility of a novel pairing scheme based on multi-modal gestures, namely, gestures involving drawing supported by accelerometer data. In particular, a user can pair a smart-watch on his wrist and a mobile device (e.g., a smart-phone) by simply drawing with a finger on the screen at the device.To this purpose, we developed mobile applications for smart-watch and smart-phone to sample and process sensed data in support of a secure commitment-based protocol. Furthermore, we performed experiments to verify whether encoded matching-movements have a clear similarity compared to non-matching movements.The results proved that it is feasible to implement such a scheme which also offers users a natural way to perform secure pairing. This innovative scheme may be adopted by a large number of mobile devices (e.g., smart-watches, smart-phones, tablets, etc.) in different scenarios.

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