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Feedback of single character input for password entry by multi-tap or probabilistic input methods

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000023313D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 94K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for letting users review characters that they have input into a password field when using multi-tap or probabilistic methods for character entry.

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Feedback of single character input for password entry by multi-tap or probabilistic input methods

Many handheld devices (PDAs, cellular telephones, etc.) allow users to input characters using alternative input methods such as multi-tap (repeated tapping of a phone key to acquire the desired letter) or probabilistic methods such as voice-spelling or handwriting recognition. For normal character input, there is no problem because users can see the characters that they have input. The problem arises when users want to use these methods to enter a password or any other string that is hidden (just shows blanks or asterisks, for example) during input. This isn't a problem when using a keyboard (either standard or onscreen) because keyboard input is deterministic, with each key mapped to a single character for any given state of the keyboard's control keys (Shift, Control, Alt, etc.). Alternative input methods, however, can result in the accidental production of an unwanted character, and the user has no way of knowing this has happened until he or she submits the password and finds that the system rejects it. We do not know of any other solutions to this problem that maintain the security of hiding the password characters.

Our disclosure is to provide, for these types of input fields, a brief display of the input character to allow users to verify correct production and, if necessary, to be able to backspace and try again.

The following flowchart illustrates a preferre...