‘Invisible Key’ Lets You Unlocks Doors With Hand Gestures

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Forget about fumbling with your keys late at night — a faculty member from the Technology and Science Institute of Northern Taiwan has developed a way to unlock your door with a simple hand gesture.

Developed by Tsai Yao-Pin and his team of researchers, the “invisible key” is actually a bit of a misnomer, as it’s what’s built into the lock that does all the heavy lifting. The heart of the invisible key is a special chip-and-accerometer combo that Yao-Pin and his team of researchers have developed.

The chip is able to track users’ hand movements in three dimensions, and those gestures can be stored for future use. Once those unlock gestures have been set, it’s a simple matter of flashing that same move in front of the lock at the end of the day and voilà — you’re back within the comforts of your own home.

The invisible key concept netted Yao-Pin and his school a Gold Award at this past weekend’s Taipei International Invention Show. There it enjoys the company of other high caliber inventions like “a kind of foldable flat mop head with cleaning pad” and “nanostructured composite anode with nano gas channels and atmosphere plasma spray manufacturing method thereof.” Seriously.

Speaking as a thoughtless clod who’s lost more keys than I care to admit, I’d be the first in line to buy one of these things. Thankfully for people like me, Tsai Yao-Pin has mentioned that the project has caught the attention of a few interested companies, so we may not need to wait too long for an easier way inside.