Gesture-Based Login Apps For iPad And iPhone Aim To Banish Passwords From Touchscreens

The screen on Apple’s tablets or smartphones can pick up subtle identifying gestures as unique as a signature on a check. So why, when we log into those devices or use them to verify our identity to apps and Web services, do we still have to pretend we’re using a primitive keyboard?

According to a group of researchers at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute, we don’t. For the last few years, they’ve been working on gesture-based systems for logging into those devices and their apps that they hope can abolish cumbersome passwords and make logging in nearly as simple as the finger swipe that unlocks iOS gadgets and far harder to crack than Android’s nine-point pattern authentication. With a multitouch gesture system that captures enough variables unique to users like hand size, finger placement, and speed of movement, they say they’re getting close.