Keyboard that uses sonar to protect sensitive data
By Darren Quick
February 20, 2011
While the simple act of logging off a workstation is an obvious way to protect sensitive data – like that used by healthcare providers, pharmacies, banks and government agencies – it is all too easy for users to forget and leave the data not only viewable, but also editable by anyone who happens to pass by. Custom keyboard supplier Key Source International (KSI) has developed a keyboard that does the remembering for you, logging out as soon as the user physically leaves the keyboard.
KSI's SonarLocID Keyboard uses sonar to monitor the presence of a user. When a logged in user physically steps away from the workstation – around a meter – it will then immediately log off the user who will be prompted to log back in when the sonar sensor detects that they – or someone else – has returned. The user can then log back into the system with a username/password, or via a proximity badge ID reader or fingerprint reader built into the keyboard.
The SonarLocID Keyboard connects to a PC via USB and can be configured via an included programming application that allows the user to program custom keystrokes as well as delays and a sequence to lock the computer when the user walks away. These user definable keystrokes, delays and settings aren't stored on the client or server, but rather stored in the keyboard's onboard flash memory. KSI also says the keyboard can be programmed to work seamlessly with most popular single sign on and web-based security applications.
KSI's biggest customer for the SonarLocID Keyboard is a major healthcare clinic in the Midwest U.S. but the device can be purchased in small quantities from Blue Star with a base unit price of US$159.