ShakeUnlock: Securely unlock mobile devices by shaking them together

Rainhard Dieter Findling, Muhammad Muaaz, Daniel Hintze, René Mayrhofer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The inherent weakness of typical mobile device unlocking approaches (PIN, password, graphic pattern) is that they demand time and attention, leading a majority of end users to disable them, effectively lowering device security. We propose a method for unlocking mobile devices by shaking them together, implicitly passing the unlocked state from one device to another. One obvious use case includes a locked mobile phone and a wrist watch, which remains unlocked as long as strapped to the user's wrist. Shaking both devices together generates a one-time unlocking event for the phone without the user interacting with the screen. We explicitly analyze the usability critical impact of shaking duration with respect to the level of security. Results indicate that unlocking is possible with a true match rate of 0.795 and true non match rate of 0.867 for a shaking duration as short as two seconds.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th International Conference on Advances in Mobile Computing and Multimedia, MoMM 2014
EditorsI-Hsien Ting, Yu-Hui Tao, Matthias Steinbauer, Ismail Khalil, Hsin-Chang Yang, Gabriele Anderst-Kotsis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450330084
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Advances in Mobile Computing and Multimedia - Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China
Duration: 8 Dec 201410 Dec 2014
Conference number: 12


ConferenceInternational Conference on Advances in Mobile Computing and Multimedia
Abbreviated titleMoMM
CountryTaiwan, Republic of China


  • Accelerometer
  • Authentication
  • Frequency domain
  • Mobile devices
  • Shaking
  • Time series analysis
  • Usability

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