Which One to Go: Security and Usability Evaluation of Mid-Air Gestures

Wenyuan Xu, Xiaopeng Li, Jing Tian, Yujun Xiao, Xianshan Qu, Song Wang, Xiaoyu Ji

With the emerging of touch-less human-computer interaction techniques and gadgets, mid-air hand gestures have been widely used for authentication. Much literature examined either the usability or security of a handful of gestures. This paper aims at quantifying usability and security of gestures as well as understanding their relationship across multiple gestures. To study gesture-based authentication, we design an authentication method that combines Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) and Support Vector Machine (SVM), and conducted a user study with 42 participants over a period of 6 weeks. We objectively quantify the usability of a gesture by the number of corners and the frame length of all gesture samples, quantify the security using the equal error rate (EER), and the consistency by EER over a period of time. Meanwhile, we obtain subjective evaluation of usability and security by conducting a survey. By examining the responses, we found that the subjective evaluation confirms with the objective ones, and usability is in inverse relationship with security. We studied the consistency of gestures and found that most participants forgot gestures to some degree and reinforcing the memorization of gestures is necessary to improve the authentication performance. Finally, we performed a study with another 17 participants on shoulder surfing attacks, where attackers can observe the victims multiple times. The results show that shoulder surfing does not help to boost the attacks.

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