eGo Technology: what you touch is yours
Gemalto, world leader in digital security, has developed eGo, a system where the user’s body becomes a medium of communication. Thus, a simple touch is all that is required to open a door, make an electronic payment or start up a computer. This European research project, called Eureka, includes, among others, Atos Origin, Continental, St Microelectronics and the POPS research team at the Inria Lille - Nord Europe research centre.
This wireless technology allows the transmission of data without electrical cables.
“BAN technology is based on the use of the magnetic field created around the human body when a user touches an electrically polarized object. There is no need to use the body to transmit the electric signal. Instead this electrical field serves as a carrier wave for the transmission of data. The communication signal, which is quite weak, barely touches the body.”
How does it work ?
Gemalto has designed an electronic module that includes a sensor, circuitry similar to that of a smart card and an emitter/receiver. The module does not have to be directly in contact with the body for the system to work. It must be within less than 1 cm from the skin, integrated in a watch, piece of jewellery, clothing, belt, etc.
When you touch an eGo-compliant object (computer keyboard, car door handle, electronic payment terminal, etc.) an authentication mechanism is spontaneously created between the module the user is wearing and the touched object. The user’s rights and credentials are transmitted by UWB (Ultra Wide Band) radio technology.
What is the POPS team's contribution to this project ?
In order to prevent possible abuses, the POPS research team is working on “technological padlocks”. This intuitive technology implies different relationships between people and the objects around them: we are subject to communications, or actions, without necessarily initiating them. Preventing the fraudulent use of a person’s identity in the context of this technology is at the heart of the POPS team’s research.
Source : IT Industrie et Technologies, January 2011