Wearables

Google Glass-based system could boost user security at ATMs

Combined with Google Glass, the Ubic system could be used to thwart PIN thieves
Combined with Google Glass, the Ubic system could be used to thwart PIN thieves
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Combined with Google Glass, the Ubic system could be used to thwart PIN thieves
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Combined with Google Glass, the Ubic system could be used to thwart PIN thieves

While many of us worry about the ways in which Google Glass could be used to infringe on peoples' privacy, scientists at Saarland University in Germany have instead developed a process in which the high-tech eyewear could ensure privacy. More specifically, it would keep shady characters from obtaining your PIN while you used an automated teller.

The process starts with a Glass-wearing user approaching an ATM, and "identifying himself" to it. It's not clear if this is done using a debit card, or some other means.

In any case, using a software system known as Ubic, the ATM then identifies the user's unique digital Google Glass signature, and responds by displaying a customized QR code on its screen. To everyone else (even other Glass-wearers, all with different signatures), that code remains unreadable. The user's glasses are able to read it, however, and they display a one-time-use PIN in place of the code, on the inside of the lens.

The user then keys in that PIN and goes about their ATM business, after which that particular PIN becomes useless – a new one is issued for each of their subsequent transactions.

Needless to say, the same thing could be done simply using a camera-equipped smartphone. The difference with Google Glass, however, is the fact that while other people could sneak a peek at the decoded PIN on a phone's screen, only the one user would be able to see it on the Glass display.

The researchers have suggested that Ubic could perhaps also have other applications. One of these could include single encrypted documents that display different confidential content to different people, depending on each person's Google Glass signature.

Source: Saarland University

5 comments
Chris Winter
Nice idea but omg overkill. Just to draw out cash I have to use Google Glass or pull out my phone? No. 2 things: 1) why do you still "need" cash? 2) With paywave technology perfected, how long before the "answer to the evil theives" is simply an implant? We all know that's the way it's going, whether we like it or not.
P17
Google Glass is a waste of time for one simple reason: you automatically make yourself a potential target for criminals. This application is another reason not to have GG. Imagine going to a cash point in a non-familiar place to withdraw money. That in itself is a risky operation, but by having £2k worth of tech on your head it immediately marks you out as someone who may well have a healthy bank balance! GG is not the future, the future is something I can see happening, but I'm not offering it up here until I've done a proof of concept and patented it!
Stephen N Russell
How much for Google Glasses, if too new & high priced, then No Make more then price drops, boost sales or adapt to cellphone for use for PIN right??
Slowburn
If you want to generate single use PIN numbers just have the ATM display a random number that you add to each digit of your your PIN. so if your PIN is 1,9,4,5 and the ATM shows a 3 you punch in 4,13,7,8.
Brackish
It doesn't matter if somebody sees the decoded PIN number on your smartphone at the ATM because the number is only good for one use.