Finger-input Touch Authentication using Physical Vibration (VibWrite)

Invention Summary:

Researchers at Rutgers University have created an innovative authentication system named VibWrite. The system places an inexpensive vibration motor and receiver on a solid surface, such as wood, metal, plastic, glass (e.g., a door panel, a desk or an appliance). The motor sends vibrations to the receiver. When a user touches the surface with a finger, the vibration waves change and create a unique signature per user and per finger. This invention turns any rigid surface into a touchscreen for user authentication. The invention supports use of a user’s physiological data and user secrets (PIN number, patterns, or gestures) to authenticate the user. The combination makes it difficult for intruders to access, even if they have knowledge of the secret.

VibWrite is significantly different from traditional password-based approaches, which only authenticate the password rather than the legitimate user, and the behavioral biometrics-based solutions, which usually involve specific or expensive hardware (e.g., touch screen or fingerprint reader), incurring privacy concerns and suffering from smudge attacks.

The technology extends finger-input authentication to any solid surface for smart access systems (e.g., access to apartments, vehicles or smart appliances). It integrates passcode, behavioral and physiological characteristics, and surface dependency together to provide a low-cost, tangible and enhanced security solution.

VibWrite is able to discriminate fine-grained finger inputs and support up to three independent passcode secrets including PIN number, lock pattern, and simple gestures.

Market Applications:

  • Locks for buildings, devices, storage
  • Security, including cybersecurity, device, physical, automobile and internet of things


  • Low cost, requires a single pair of low-cost vibration motors and receivers
  • Support for multiple surface types
  • Resistant to “knowledgeable” attackers who have the secret and have observed the user activity
  • Demonstrated, via testing, the ability to authenticate users with high accuracy (e.g., over 95% within two trials), with low false positive rate (e.g., less 3%) robust to various types of attacks

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent issued. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration. For any business development and other collaborative partnerships contact:

Patent Information: