Armenian startup creates new method of human-computer interaction
The main drawback of classical authentication and authorization systems is that people unwillingly reveal different elements of their passwords while using a keyboard or a touchscreen. Besides, various hacking protocols enable revealing the password by recording the sequence of keystrokes. Armenian startup Improvis set itself a goal to fix this drawback by eliminating physical contact with devices, using advanced scientific developments of the last two years.
Founded by four Yerevan State University students three years ago, the company aims to develop scientific programming in Armenia.
As Improvis co-founder and executive director Hovhannes Sargsyan told PanARMENIAN.Net it took two years to create and develop the team
Their project won the co-funded grant competition, organized by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation, which offers co-financed grants, enabling Gyumri and Vanadzor-based startups to receive financial support. However, all the projects should have a clear commercialization strategy and implement the business projects in Gyumri and Vanadzor. The victory enabled the team to open a branch office at the Technology Center in Gyumri.
“Consisting of four professionals and eight interns, the new startup in Gyumri has been operating for 3-4 months now. Moreover, many of our colleagues who used to work in huge Yerevan-based companies, quit their jobs and returned to Gyumri to help us develop further,” Sargsyan said.
From the outset, the team has set itself the goal of creating super-fast and highly accurate algorithms for tracking a person’s face and eye movements with an ordinary webcam without 3D sensor devices.
“The scientific basis for the technology has become relevant only in the last two years; we are now trying to apply the scientific potential on mobile platforms, the latter being unable to reach the hardware power of desktop computers. We thus have to make adjustments in the algorithms to optimize and accelerate them, as well as write a new code and adapt the adjustments to mobile devices,” Sargsyan noted.
Developing a new method of universal identification of the password and user ID was among the different ideas for the use of algorithms created. The method allows users to log in and authenticate themselves without physical contact with the keyboard or the touchscreen by entering the password with just eye movements.
“Moving the eyes, the user monitors the elements constituting the password, which may, in turn, move in a random order and have an arbitrary visualization meaningful only to the user. One and the same element of the password may act in a thousand different ways, and only one user will be able to identify it: for all the others the password will seem to be a meaningless set of characters,” Improvis executive director said.
According to Sargsyan, the technology may be used on about every platform with classic authentication methods, including social networks, computers, phones, ATMs, shops using credit cards to name a few. On the other hand, however, there is a problem with the difficulty of teaching the new technology to a normal user.
“For this purpose, gaming applications have been created for users to quickly learn new technologies. In one such app the user flies a plane by moving the head and uses eye movements when choosing targets,” Sargsyan explained.
The first Android gaming application already existing, the iOS version is set to appear in three months. The technology, according to the authors, can have a wide range of applications, say, in medicine. Experts note that this technology can alert the existence of various diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Also, it can help people with disabilities who are unable to use computers in the usual way.
“That is, we provide only the software for them to be able to run it on their own devices, without having to buy expensive equipment. Improvis plans to complete implementation of the new technology project within a year. After all, people found it hard to adapt to the first keyboards, but they did,” Sargsyan said.