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A Quicker Way to Pair Smartphones: Shake Them

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Tampere University of Technology researcher Hidir Yuzuguzel and colleagues say they have developed a faster and easier way to pair two smartphones to swap photos, documents, or other data. The team's approach calls for holding both devices in one hand and shaking them together, while the on-board software they developed looks for the sharp jolt from the accelerometers in the smartphones.

Bumping together the smartphones synchronizes the software in both devices to start analyzing the shaking motion. The software extracts accelerometer data such as the number of peaks, root-mean-square, skewness, peak to peak, and average power, quantizing the factors to produce a four-bit signal for each, then adds them together to create a bitstream that is 40 bits long.

"Off-line experiments showed that 76 percent of same shaking processes generate the same key," the researchers say. "On the other hand, only 4 percent of different shaking processes generated the same key." The team also believes it can refine the program to boost the results.

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