Monday, September 20, 2004

Ideas in Cryptography

Another area where we could attempt doing some cool stuff is in Cryptography. There is a lot that could be done, and a commercial yet robust solution will almost always find buyers. Here are a few random ideas that I thought of -

  1. Random Number Generators -- there are two ways of doing this, AFAIK.
    • One is using a radioactive source and using a Geiger Muller Counter to detect that, and use that with a hash table to generate random numbers. Fourmilab has something similar to this, called Hotbits.
    • The other method is the use of a cheap camera/webcam to generate random numbers - make a filter that totally blocks out all visible radiations (physical and/or software based), and so the webcam can only use Infra-red and other spectra to generate random numbers. And these cannot be easily recreated. This was evolved from the use of a Lavalamp idea, details of which can be found in this Wired article as well as in the www.lavarnd.org website.
  2. A motion-detector software kit for locking systems -- this has primarily been inspired by Cryptonomicon. This is the scenario -- a user has a webcam connected to his computer, and the moment s/he moves away, the motion-detector software detects that and locks the system, encrypts the files that he can pre-determine to be encrypted and even perform some set of operations. We can build a software that effectively does this, even for remote systems, as well as inlcude such things as fingerprint and face-recognition attributes. A simple Opensource motion detector already exists.
I wonder how well these things would sell, hmm. On the plus side, it would not hurt to develop them and put them up as free downloads, as well as sell commercial versions with more robust attributes (better algorithms, added features, customized hardware, etc.) - besides, it would definitely bring Highbrew to the attention of some people in the business.