Various authentication methods for smartwatches

Authentication for wearable devices

Smartwatches are rapidly emerging to be the next generation of personal devices from the smartphone era due to their novel form factor and broad applications. However, their emergence also poses new challenges to securing user information. An important challenge is preventing unauthorized access to private information stored on the watch, for which a locking method is typically used. Due to smartwatches’ limited display, the performance of locking methods offered on smartwatches may suffer from the fat-finger problem and is currently unknown. In this project, we present the first study to evaluate different locking methods for smartwatches. We then propose a new tap-based authentication method suitable for smartwatches and wearable devices equipped with a touch screen. We contribute to the ongoing research trend in authentication for smartwatches with a reference benchmark and interesting insights for future work.


  1. Toan Nguyen and Nasir Memon, Tap-based User Authentication for Smartwatches, Computers & Security, Volume 78, September 2018, Pages 174-186
  2. Toan Nguyen and Nasir Memon, Smartwatches Locking Methods: A Comparative Study, 3rd Workshop on “Who Are You?! Adventures in Authentication” at the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (WAY 2017), USENIX, July 2017