Keeping children out of reach of smartphones is an arduous task for those responsible, but researchers in China and the United States seem to have found a solution. Scientists have developed a technique that would be able to recognize when a touch on the device’s screen is done by an adult or a little one. Thus, it would be possible to do this control without installing anything and with more reliability than the current methods.
Developed by the University of South Carolina and Zhejiang in China, the algorithm is able to point out when the child is doing an inappropriate activity such as buying from an online store. The researcher, the Chinese student Xiaopeng Li, says that it is possible to observe two major differences between how adults and their children touch and use a telephone.
According to the researcher, children play in areas smaller than adults and make less drag movements on the screen thanks to their small fingers. In addition, little ones also tend to be slower when interchanging movements and gestures on the screen. Using phone sensors, the student also discovered that adults tremble less when holding the phone.
To get this information, the group of researchers involved developed an application and asked a group of children ages 3 to 11 to use the program, just like a group of adults between the ages of 22 and 60. The app required the user to unlock Android and play a variety of games, which allowed students to analyze data such as movements, finger pressure and area pressed.
The researchers further state that the algorithm has reached an accuracy level of 84% in actions involving only a touch or gesture on the screen. Already with eight or more interactions, the result reaches 97% of hits. For now, there is no forecast for the algorithm to reach the phones, but it is expected that this is one of the key ways to keep your phone – and credit card, protected from children, according to the MIT Technology Review website.