You may soon be able to Sign to Unlock with your Surface Pen (patent)

A major focus for Microsoft over the last few years has been bringing a Natural User Interface to Windows 10, which has meant in practice more integration of voice, touch and stylus to allow us to operate our PCs in a way that is intuitive to us from our day-to-day lives.

Now Microsoft has applied for a new patent “SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR AUTHENTICATION WITH A COMPUTER STYLUS” which would bring another element of our daily lives, authorising something using your signature, to our electronic world.

The abstract for the patent reads:

A method for securing operation of a computing device operated with a stylus includes recognizing a pre-defined gesture performed by a stylus on a touch screen, the pre-defined gesture defined as a user command to lock an item displayed on the touch screen, determining a location of the gesture, determining identity of the stylus, locking an item displayed at the location determined, and recording identity of the stylus. A method for operating a computing device with a stylus includes receiving a command with a stylus to add restricted annotations to a document, receiving identity of the stylus, linking an annotation to the identity, restricting display of the annotation on the document to a computing device receiving input from the stylus; and displaying the document absent the at least one annotation on a computing device on which input from the stylus is not received.

The patent focusses on two elements – using an active pen such as the Surface Pen as a secure token which would by itself be part of a two factor authentication system, and then adding a second factor via an authorization gesture such as a signature to allow either users access to secure data such as unlocking their PC or to make verified annotations to documents e.g. adding their real signature to a document.

With Windows Hello Microsoft, of course, has a flexible interface for secure authorization on Windows 10 PCs, and I would not be surprised if unlocking your PC with your signature is a new perk for Surface Pen users or Windows 10 PCs with other active pens.

The full patent can be read here.

Some links in the article may not be viewable as you are using an AdBlocker. Please add us to your whitelist to enable the website to function properly.

Source Related