Securely Connecting Wearables to Ambient Displays with User Intent


Xiaohui Liang, Ronald Peterson, and David Kotz. Securely Connecting Wearables to Ambient Displays with User Intent. IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, volume 17, number 4, pages 676–690. IEEE, July 2020. doi:10.1109/TDSC.2018.2840979. ©Copyright IEEE. Date of Publication: 28 May 2018.


Wearables are often small and have limited user interfaces, hence they often wirelessly interface with a personal smartphone or a personal computer to relay information from the wearable for display. In this paper, we envision a new method LightTouch by which a wearable can establish a secure connection to an ambient display, such as a television or computer monitor, based on the user's intention to connect to the display. Such connections must be secure to prevent impersonation attacks, must work with unmodified display hardware, and must be easy to establish. LightTouch uses standard RF methods for communicating the data to display, securely bootstrapped with a key shared via a brightness channel between the low cost, low power, ambient light sensor of a wearable and the screen of the display. A screen touch gesture is adopted by users to ensure the modulation of screen brightness can be accurately and securely captured by the ambient light sensor. We further propose novel on-screen localization and correlation algorithms to improve security and reliability. Through experiments we demonstrate that LightTouch is compatible with current display and wearable designs, easy-to-use (5-6 seconds), reliable for connecting displays (98 percent success connection ratio), and secure against impersonation attacks.

Citable with [BibTeX]

Projects: [thaw]

Keywords: [authentication] [iot] [security] [sensors] [wearable]

Available from the publisher: [DOI]

Available from the author: [bib]
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[Kotz research]