Your phone may soon be able to tell whether it's you or your child swiping the screen, said Rachel Metz at Technology Review. While there's no shortage of activity-monitoring apps on the market, most can "be disabled by tech-savvy children." That prompted researchers at the University of South Carolina and China's Zhejiang University to create an algorithm that can detect the age of a device's user based on swiping patterns, which could allow parents to more effectively block apps they "want to keep off-limits."
Researchers observed that children's smaller hands meant that they touched a smaller screen area with shorter swipes. "Children also tend to swipe their fingers more sluggishly, and they are slower to switch from swiping to tapping." Using data from test subjects, the researchers' algorithm can detect age ranges with 84 percent accuracy after just one swipe — and 97 percent after eight swipes.