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Security researchers spoof SignWave hand geometry app for Leap Motion controller

Posted August 16, 2013


Bad news for Battelle‘s SignWave – reports have emerged today to suggest that security researchers at Malwarebytes inadvertently spoofed the company’s new biometric hand-geometry app which was recently launched for the Leap Motion controller.

“I wasn’t even trying to hack it,” Malwarebytes researcher Jean Taggart told VentureBeat’s John Koetsier. “I was just showing a coworker. He walked up, put his hand over my keyboard, and logged into my computer.” 

“As stated in the app description in the Airspace store, false positives are possible. SignWave Unlock is using a new type of biometric authentication algorithm using data that is only possible to collect with the Leap Motion Controller,” Katy Delaney, Battelle spokeswoman said in an email to

“That is why the app is free of charge in order to increase the number of users and the biometric points upon which its security algorithm depends. The more data, the better the app. We truly appreciate our SignWave Unlock users who are helping to improve the app by opting in to its anonymous data sharing program.”

Reported previously in, Battelle launched its SignWave app for the Leap Motion late last month. The essence of this app is that when users wave their hands over the controller, it works to recognize the user’s unique hand geometry and then grants access to the computer. 

The Leap Motion controller was also launched recently and is a small physical USB controller that senses the movement of hands and fingers, allowing users to use Minority Report-type gesture control.

According to a new market research report, the total market value of touchless sensing and gesture recognition market is expected to reach $15.02 billion by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 34.94 percent from 2013-2018.



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