Microsoft has submitted a patent claim for its Windows 8 picture password feature.
The picture password feature allows Windows 8 users to select their own personal picture and sketch three different patterns over the picture to login. The new authentication system makes it easier for tablet and touch users to login to a Windows 8 PC. Microsoft filed a patent for the feature in February, 2008. The patent was published on Tuesday and reveals that Microsoft has been working on the feature for several years.
“The technique may be implemented on a computing device, such as a PC or a portable electronic device, for authenticating user logon,” says the patent summary describing the feature. “Users can draw any sketch he or she desires as a password.” Microsoft introduced the feature as part of its Windows 8 Developer Preview, released last week. Microsoft notes that the feature is “particularly suited for protecting information on devices such as the PDA, Tablet PC, and game devices such Nintendo-DS, where the stylus is a major input means.”
Microsoft explains that the system does not authenticate users based on an exact match of their drawing. “It authenticates based on the future similarity between an edge orientation pattern extracted from the sketch the user enters and an edge orientation pattern extract from the user’s pre-registered template sketch,” explains the patent filing. The feature, demonstrated below, is particularly useful for touch-based devices but also works well on a standard keyboard and mouse setup in Windows 8.
Image Credit: windowsteamblog.com