Research initially aimed at helping partially sighted customers use chip & pin keypads has led to the creation of a device which will protect all customers from "Shoulder Surfing" - A method where a "criminally motivated" bystander can casually observe consumers secret PIN when paying for goods or services.
Neil Radford an Enterprise Fellow at the University of Warwick has worked with colleagues in the University of Warwicks Manufacturing Group to create a special easy to use "cradle" for chip & pin keypads, which innovatively incorporates a magnifying lens. The use of the lens (patent pending) is of significant benefit to visually impaired people, as it enlarges the pin pad display whilst also improving security. The enhanced view, to any user standing directly in front of the key pad, alone is of great benefit by reducing the degree of difficulty and the associated anxiety many face in simply reading the display - from partially sighted people through to the many people who need simply to switch to reading glasses for some tasks - whilst vendors see improved transaction times.
Importantly the device, also provides tremendous additional benefit to customers, vendors and banks in that it has been proven to be a highly effective defence against shoulder surfing, by distorting the view available from any other angle by a casual observer or even CCTV and hidden cameras, thus frustrating shoulder surfers and more sophisticated fraudsters.
Peter Dunn | alfa
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