Academics from University of Waterloo and Rochester Institute of Technology have addressed the limitations of the most common biometric modalities, developing a new authentication method that will frictionlessly verify blind and visually impaired people.

The method has been called OneButtonPIN; rather than entering pin numbers, the user counts the number of haptic vibrations to enter the correct pin. The solution will be revolutionary in expanding visual types of biometrics to touch. Currently, authentication methods require users with sight to draw patterns, enter passwords or pin codes, and position themselves correctly for face recognition.

While passwords and other methods can be targeted by privacy attacks, OneButtonPIN taps a unique sign-in method which coordinates numbers to vibrations in a sequence.

This method is imperceptible to outsiders and mitigates the risks of blind or low vision individuals having to rely on audio assistance technology which could leave them vulnerable to eavesdropping.

“While OneButtonPIN was designed for BLV people, many users will appreciate the added security,” Watson said. “When we make things more accessible, we make things more usable for the average user as well.”

OneButtonPIN ensures 83.6% accuracy.