Magnetic-based Gesture Recognition

MagBoard Architecture
MagBoard is a homomorphic ubiquitous keyboard for mobile devices. MagBoard allows application developers and users to design and print different custom keyboards for the same applications to fit different users’ needs. The core idea is to leverage the triaxial magnetometer embedded in standard mobile phones to accurately localize a magnet within a virtual grid superimposed on a customizable printed keyboard. This result is achieved through a once in a lifetime fingerprint. MagBoard also provides a number of modules that allow it to cope with background magnetic noise, heterogeneous devices, different magnet shapes, sizes, and strengths, as well as changes in magnet polarity.

Our implementation of MagBoard on Android phones with extensive evaluation in different scenarios demonstrates that it can achieve a key detection accuracy of more than 91% for keys as small as 2cm × 2cm, reaching 100% for 4cm×4cm keys. This accuracy is robust with different phones and magnets, highlighting MagBoard’s promise as a homomorphic ubiquitous keyboard for mobile devices.

Videos and media coverage




  1. MagBoard: Magnetic-based Ubiquitous Homomorphic Off-the-shelf Keyboard
    Heba Abdelnasser, Moustafa Youssef, and Khaled Harras
    IEEE SECON 2016.
    Download: Paper, Slides