Developing an Extension to an Existing Tactile Authentication Mechanism to Support Non-Visual Interaction

Ravi Kuber and Shiva Sharma


Accessibility, Accommodating People with Disabilities, Tactile Interfaces, User Authentication


Authentication mechanisms are often developed without taking into account the needs of users with visual disabilities. In this paper, we describe an extension to an existing tactile authentication system, with the aim of supporting non-visual interaction. Tactile icons are presented in a timed sequence at one fixed point on the interface, reducing the need to navigate using a mouse. Findings from an evaluation with 16 blind and blindfolded participants revealed that tactile authentication sequences (termed: tactile passwords) could be recognized over a month-long period, with a 76.8% rate of accuracy on the first attempt to access the system. While the approach was found to address security concerns identified through literature (e.g. threats from third parties and hidden cameras), findings have indicated that usability was compromised to achieve accessibility. The study has provided insights for interface designers interested in developing inclusive authentication mechanisms using touch.

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