Researchers develop ‘Invisible Key’ that unlocks doors using motion sensors

keyIn another step towards a digital world, a group of Taiwanese Scientists have an invented an “invisible key” which will allow you open your house’s front door with only a gesture. No more getting accidentally locked out; no more having to lug around bulky keys.

The technology was developed by Tsai Yao-pin and his team of researchers from the Technology and Science Institute of Northern Taiwan. Though we’ve seen technology to put in passcodes on doors, biometric security products and even apps for your phone like the Lockitron, the team’s invention was deemed practical enough to net them a gold award at the 4-day 2011 Taipei International Invention Show.

“In the future, you won’t have to worry about losing or forgetting your keys,” said Tsai Yao-pin.

At the heart of the locking mechanism is a chip which tracks 3D movement. The researchers based the invisible key off of gaming motion sensor technology, the kind you’d see in a Nintendo Wii. Users simply repeat a preset handgesture in front of the sensor, and seconds later have access to home-sweet-home.

The gesture can of course be changed if needed, with less cost and less hassle than having to replace a physical key. Tsai Yao-pin has already had several companies approach him about the invention, and he estimates commercial availability sometime in 2012.

Going digital brings some criticism about security. Some of the abilities displayed at the Defcon conference earlier this year pointed out that many devices have been overlooked in their vulnerability to hacking. Studies have also shown that hacking keyless car entry systems can be quite easy. Convenience or security?

Via Physorg