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Title:
EAVESDROPPING PREVENTION TECHNIQUES FOR PHYSICAL INPUT INTERFACES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/168198
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Eavesdropping prevention techniques for physical input interfaces are described. In one embodiment, for example, an apparatus may comprise a physical input interface to receive physical input via one or more interface elements, interface circuitry to generate one or more input indicator signals in response to the physical input, and an effect generator to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface by generating one or more decoy effects at the physical input interface. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

Inventors:
GIACCONE THIERRY (FR)
BERTRAND PATRICE (FR)
LANCERICA LAURENT (FR)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2016/000856
Publication Date:
October 05, 2017
Filing Date:
April 01, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
INTEL CORP (US)
International Classes:
G07F7/10; G06F3/02
Foreign References:
US20150185863A12015-07-02
US20080072331A12008-03-20
Other References:
None
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus, comprising :

a keypad to receive physical input via one or more keys;

interface circuitry to generate one or more input indicator signals in response to the physical input; and

an effect generator to conceal one or more residual thermal effects of the physical input at the keypad by generating one or more thermal decoy effects at the keypad.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, the keypad comprising a metallic keypad.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, the keypad comprising a ruggedized plastic keypad.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, the keypad comprising a touchscreen keypad.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, the one or more keys to comprise virtual keys.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, the one or more thermal decoy effects to include one or more randomly-generated thermal patterns.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, the one or more residual thermal effects to comprise thermal fingerprints.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, comprising conversion circuitry to convert the one or more input indicator signals into logical input values.

9. A system, comprising :

the apparatus of claim 8; and

a processor circuit to execute a user service application, the processor circuit to receive the logical input values from the conversion circuitry and process the logical input values as inputs to the user service application.

10. A system, comprising :

an apparatus according to any of claims 1 to 8; and

lock circuitry coupled to the interface circuitry, the lock circuitry to control a lock based at least in part of the one or more input indicator signals.

11. A system, comprising :

a processor circuit to execute a user service application; and

a user interface apparatus coupled to the processor circuit, the user interface apparatus comprising : a physical input interface to receive physical input via one or more interface elements;

circuitry to generate one or more logical input values based on the physical input and forward the one or more logical input values to the processor circuit; and an effect generator to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface by generating one or more decoy effects at the physical input interface.

12. The system of claim 11, the physical input interface to comprise a keypad.

13. The system of claim 11, the physical input interface to comprise a touchscreen.

14. The system of claim 11, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more thermal effects.

15. The system of claim 11, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more electromagnetic effects.

16. The system of claim 11, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more optical effects.

17. The system of claim 11, the one or more interface elements to comprise physical elements.

18. The system of claim 11, the one or more interface elements to comprise virtual elements.

19. An apparatus, comprising :

a physical input interface to receive physical input via one or more interface elements;

interface circuitry to generate one or more input indicator signals in response to the physical input; and

an effect generator to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface by generating one or more decoy effects at the physical input interface.

20. The apparatus of claim 19, the physical input interface to comprise a keypad.

21. The apparatus of claim 19, the physical input interface to comprise a touchscreen.

22. The apparatus of claim 19, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more thermal effects.

23. The apparatus of claim 19, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more electromagnetic effects.

24. The apparatus of claim 19, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more optical effects.

25. The apparatus of claim 19, the one or more interface elements to comprise physical elements.

26. The apparatus of claim 19, the one or more interface elements to comprise virtual elements.

27. The apparatus of claim 19, comprising conversion circuitry to convert the one or more input indicator signals into logical input values.

28. The apparatus of claim 27, the conversion circuitry to forward the logical input values to a processor circuit.

Description:
EAVESDROPPING PREVENTION TECHNIQUES FOR PHYSICAL INPUT INTERFACES BACKGROUN D

In a variety of scenarios, a person may use a physical input interface located in a public (or publicly-accessible) location to enter private information. For example, a person may use a metallic keypad, ruggedized plastic keypad, or touchscreen interface of an automated teller machine (ATM) to enter a personal identification number (PIN). In some cases, it may be possible for a person's use of a physical input interface to have effects upon the physical input interface that remain after that person departs. For example, when a user presses a given key of a metallic keypad of an ATM, heat from the user's finger may transfer to the region of the key that it contacts, creating a thermal fingerprint that may not necessarily dissipate by the time that user departs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF TH E DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a first operating environment.

FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment of a physical input interface.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of a first thermal image.

FIG . 4 illustrates an embodiment of a second operating environment.

FIG . 5 illustrates an embodiment of a second thermal image.

FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of a logic flow.

FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of a storage medium.

FIG . 8 illustrates an embodiment of a first system.

FIG . 9 illustrates an embodiment of a second system.

FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of a device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Various embodiments may be generally directed to eavesdropping prevention techniques for physical input interfaces. In one embodiment, for example, an apparatus may comprise a physical input interface to receive physical input via one or more interface elements, interface circuitry to generate one or more input indicator signals in response to the physical input, and an effect generator to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface by generating one or more decoy effects at the physical input interface. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

Various embodiments may comprise one or more elements. An element may comprise any structure arranged to perform certain operations. Each element may be implemented as hardware, software, or any combination thereof, as desired for a given set of design parameters or performance constraints. Although an embodiment may be described with a limited number of elements in a certain topology by way of example, the embodiment may include more or less elements in alternate topologies as desired for a given implementation. It is worthy to note that any reference to "one embodiment" or "an embodiment" means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment. The appearances of the phrases "in one embodiment," "in some embodiments," and "in various embodiments" in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.

FIG. 1 illustrates an example of an operating environment 100 that may be representative of various embodiments. In operating environment 100, a user 102 may generally provide user input via a user interface apparatus 104. More particularly, in some embodiments, user 102 may provide user input by utilizing a physical input interface 106 of user interface apparatus 104. Physical input interface 106 may generally comprise and/or present one or more input elements 108 arranged such that they may be manipulated by user 102. Examples of input elements 108 in various embodiments may include keys, buttons, switches, toggles, knobs, levers, sliders, dials, trackballs, and joysticks. In some embodiments, input elements 108 may comprise physical elements. For example, in various embodiments, physical input interface 106 may comprise a physical keypad, and interface elements 108 may comprise depressable physical keys of that physical keypad. In some embodiments, interface elements 108 may comprise virtual elements. For example, in various embodiments, physical input interface 106 may comprise a touchscreen on which a virtual keypad is displayed, and interface elements 108 may comprise virtual keys of that virtual keypad. In some embodiments, interface elements 108 may comprise a combination of physical elements and virtual elements. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

In various embodiments, user interface apparatus 104 may comprise interface circuitry 110. Interface circuitry 110 may generally comprise circuitry that is arranged to convert physical inputs received via interface elements 108 of physical input interface 106 into electronic form. In some embodiments, interface circuitry 110 may be arranged to generate input indicator signals 112 in response to physical inputs received at physical input interface 106 via interface elements 108. Input indicator signals 112 may generally comprise electronic signals indicating/corresponding to particular received physical inputs. For example, in various embodiments in which interface elements 108 comprise depressable physical keys, depressing a given key may close a switch, which may cause the generation of an input indicator signal 112 indicating that the given key has been depressed. In another example, in some embodiments in which interface elements 108 comprise virtual keys on a touchscreen, if user 102 presses a region of the touchscreen displaying a given virtual key, interface circuitry 110 may generate an input indicator signal 112 indicating touchscreen coordinates corresponding to that region of the touchscreen. The embodiments are not limited to these examples.

In various embodiments, user interface apparatus 104 may comprise conversion circuitry 114. Conversion circuitry 114 may generally comprise circuitry that is arranged to convert input indicator signals 112 into logical input values 116. Any given logical input value 116 may generally comprise a value, parameter, other information element defined to correspond to a particular physical input or combination of physical inputs. For example, in some embodiments, physical input interface 106 may comprise a physical or virtual keyboard, and each logical input value 116 may comprise a letter, number, or other character corresponding to a physical or virtual key - or combination of keys - that has been pressed by user 102. The embodiments are not limited to this example.

In various embodiments, user interface apparatus 104 may be comprised within a user service system 140. User service system 140 may generally comprise a system arranged to provide one or more user services based at least in part on inputs received via user interface apparatus 104. In some embodiments, user service system 140 may comprise a processor circuit 118. In various embodiments, processor circuit 118 may be arranged to execute a user service application 120. In some embodiments, user service system 140 may provide one or more user services to user 102 via the user service application 120 executing on processor circuit 118. In various embodiments, conversion circuitry 114 may be configured to forward logical input values 116 to processor circuit 118. In some embodiments, processor circuit 118 may be configured to receive logical input values 116 from conversion circuitry 114 and process logical input values 116 as inputs to user service application 120. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

Processor circuit 118 may be implemented using any processor or logic device, such as a complex instruction set computer (CISC) microprocessor, a reduced instruction set computing (RISC) microprocessor, a very long instruction word (VLIW) microprocessor, an x86 instruction set compatible processor, a processor implementing a combination of instruction sets, a multi-core processor such as a dual-core processor or dual-core mobile processor, or any other microprocessor or central processing unit (CPU). Processor circuit 118 may also be implemented as a dedicated processor, such as a controller, a microcontroller, an embedded processor, a chip multiprocessor (CMP), a co-processor, a digital signal processor (DSP), a network processor, a media processor, an input/output (I/O) processor, a media access control (MAC) processor, a radio baseband processor, an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a field programmable gate array (FPGA), a programmable logic device (PLD), and so forth. The embodiments are not limited to these examples.

FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a physical input interface 200 that may be representative of physical input interface 106 of FIG. 1 according to various embodiments. Example physical input interface 200 is a keypad comprising nine keys 222-1 to 222-9. In some embodiments, physical input interface 200 may comprise a physical keypad, and keys 222-1 to 222-9 may comprise distinct physical keys of that physical keypad. In various embodiments, physical input interface 200 may comprise a metallic keypad or keyboard. In some embodiments, physical input interface 200 may comprise a ruggedized plastic keypad or keyboard, or a keypad or keyboard made of another type of ruggedized material. In some embodiments, physical input interface 200 may comprise a virtual keypad displayed on a touchscreen, and keys 222-1 to 222-9 may comprise virtual keys of that virtual keypad. Each one of keys 222-1 to 222-9 is designated for use in order to input a respective one of the digits '1' to '9', and the value to which each key corresponds is indicated on the surface of that key. In the context of operating environment 100 of FIG. 1, each of the digits '1' to x 9' may comprise an example of a potentially-generated logical input value 116. For example, by pressing keys 222-1, 222-2, 222-3, and 222-4 in sequence, a user may cause the generation of input indicator signals 112 that conversion circuitry 114 may convert into logical input values 116 comprising the digits 'Ι', '2', '3', and '4'.

It is to be appreciated that the embodiments are not limited to the particular example depicted in FIG. 2. In various embodiments, physical input interface 200 may comprise a greater or lesser number of keys than are depicted in FIG. 2. In some embodiments, the arrangement of the keys of physical input interface 200 may differ from the arrangement depicted in FIG. 2. For example, in various embodiments, the keys of physical input interface 200 may be arranged in a circular pattern, a triangular pattern, or according to another type of pattern/shape. In some embodiments, some or all of the keys of physical input interface 200 may be designated for use in order to input alphanumeric characters that are not numeric digits, , such as alphabetic characters, special characters such as '#', '*', '$', and '%', and so forth. In an example embodiment, in addition to the keys 222-1 to 222-9 depicted in FIG. 2, physical input interface 200 may include keys designated for use in order to input Ό', '#', and '*'. In various embodiments, rather than corresponding to alphanumeric characters, some or all of the keys of physical input interface 200 may represent other types of information, such as photos, icons, directions/directional indictors (such as N, NW, S, SE), colors, and so forth. For example, in some embodiments, each of the keys of physical input interface 200 may correspond to a different color, and physical input interface 200 may be used to enter a password, code, or other information in the form of a series of colors. The embodiments are not limited to these examples.

Returning to FIG. 1, in various embodiments, the input that user 102 provides via physical input interface 106 may comprise information of a confidential, sensitive, and/or personal nature. In some embodiments, for example, user service system 140 may comprise an automated teller machine (ATM), and physical input interface 106 may comprise an interface via which user 102 enters a personal identification number (PIN). In another example, in various embodiments, user service system 140 may comprise a security system or alarm system, and physical input interface 106 may comprise an interface via which user 102 enters a security code or access code. In yet another example, in some embodiments, physical input interface 106 may comprise an interface via which user 102 enters a key code for a digital lock. It is worthy of note that in various embodiments in which physical input interface 106 receives input of a confidential, sensitive, and/or personal nature, user service system 140 may not generate logical input values 116 based on the received physical inputs, and/or may not comprise processor circuit 118 or execute user service application 120. For example, in some embodiments in which user 102 uses physical input interface 106 to enter a key code for a digital lock, input indicator signals 112 may pass from interface circuitry 110 to lock circuitry configured to control a lock based at least in part on input indicator signals 112. In various such embodiments, the lock circuitry may be configured to lock/unlock the lock in response to receipt of input indicator signals 112 indicating that a correct key code has been entered. The embodiments are not limited to this example.

In some embodiments, the entry of physical input using physical input interface 106 may tend to have effects upon physical input interface 106 that remain for some time interval following the entry of those physical inputs. Such effects may be referred to as "residual effects." In various embodiments, particular physical inputs may tend to cause/correspond to particular residual effects. In some embodiments, the presence of a given residual effect may generally constitute an indication that a particular physical input was received. Such a residual effect may be referred to as a "residual input indicator." In various embodiments, residual thermal effects may tend to be present at physical input interface 106 following its use for entry of physical input. In some embodiments, for example, physical input interface 106 may comprise a metallic keypad or keyboard that tends to conduct heat, and thus heat from fingers that contact physical input interface 106 may tend to leave "thermal fingerprints" at physical input interface 106. In various embodiments, other types of residual effects may alternatively (or additionally) result from entry of physical input via physical input interface 106. In some embodiments, for example, residual electromagnetic effects may tend to be present at physical input interface 106 following its use for entry of physical input. In another example, in various embodiments, residual optical effects may tend to be present at physical input interface 106 following its use for entry of physical input. The embodiments are not limited to these examples.

FIG. 3 depicts a thermal image 300 comprising illustrative examples of residual input indicators according to some embodiments. Thermal image 300 may be representative of an image generated via thermal imaging of physical input interface 200 of FIG. 2 following the receipt of physical input corresponding to the entry of a PIN. As shown in FIG. 3, thermal image 300 reveals residual thermal effects 324-A, 324-B, 324-C, and 324-D, each of which may generally correspond to a temperature differential that is created on the surface of the interface element(s) of physical input interface 200 when it is used to enter the PIN. In various embodiments, for example, residual thermal effects 324-A, 324-B, 324-C, and 324-D may result from small amounts of heat being transferred from a finger (or fingers) used to type the PIN to the interface element(s) used to type the PIN. The embodiments are not limited to this example. Each of residual thermal effects 324-A, 324-B, 324-C, and 324-D is located in a region of physical input interface 200 that corresponds to a particular key, and thus a particular digit. The presence of residual thermal effects 324-A, 324-B, 324- C, and 324-D thus may indicate that particular keys have been pressed, and as such, residual thermal effects 324-A, 324-B, 324-C, and 324-D may constitute residual input indicators. More particularly, in this example, residual thermal effects 324-A, 324-B, 324-C, and 324-D may constitute residual input indicators that indicate that the entered PIN comprises the digits Ί', '4', '5', and λ 8'. Furthermore, such residual thermal effects may gradually shrink/erode over time, and thus the relative sizes of the residual thermal effects may provide clues regarding the order in which the corresponding keys were pressed. As such, thermal effects 324-A, 324-B, 324-C, and 324-D may not only indicate that the entered PIN comprises the digits Ί', '4', '5', and '8', but also may indicate the order in which those digits appear in the PIN . For example, the smallest residual thermal effect - residual thermal effect 324-D - is observed in the region of the key corresponding to the digit '4', which may indicate that Λ 4' is the first digit of the entered PIN . The embodiments are not limited to this example.

Returning to FIG. 1, in some embodiments, it may be possible for an eavesdropper to use a scanning/imaging device to detect residual effects at physical input interface 106 after user 102 uses it to enter input. If the detected residual effects constitute residual input indicators, such that they are generally indicative of the physical inputs entered by user 102, then it may be possible for the eavesdropper to identify confidential, sensitive, and/or personal information of user 102 by analyzing those detected residual effects. For example, if user service system 140 comprises an ATM, physical input interface 106 comprises a keypad that user 102 uses to enter a PIN, and the eavesdropper is able detect residual effects that can be analyzed to identify which keys were pressed and in what order, the eavesdropper may be able to identify user 102's PIN . The embodiments are not limited to this example.

FIG. 4 illustrates an example of an operating environment 400 that may be representative of the implementation of one or more eavesdropping prevention techniques according to various embodiments. In operating environment 400, user 102 may generally provide user input via a user interface apparatus 404. In some embodiments, user interface apparatus 404 may be comprised in a user service system 440. User service system 440 may generally comprise a system arranged to provide one or more user services based at least in part on inputs received via user interface apparatus 404. In various embodiments, user service system 440 may comprise a processor circuit 418. In some embodiments, processor circuit 418 may be arranged to execute a user service application 420. In various embodiments, user service system 440 may provide one or more user services to user 102 via the user service application 420 executing on processor circuit 418. According to some embodiments, processor circuit 418 and user service application 420 may be the same as - or similar to processor circuit 118 and user service application 120 of FIG. 1, respectively. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

In various embodiments, user interface apparatus 404 may comprise physical input interface 106, interface circuitry 110, and an effect generator 426. In some such embodiments, user interface apparatus 404 may additionally comprise conversion circuitry 114. Effect generator 426 may generally comprise any combination of one or more of electronic circuitry, device(s), component(s), and/or element(s) capable of generating one or more decoy effects at physical input interface 106 to conceal residual effects of physical input at physical input interface 106. In various embodiments, effect generator 426 may be configured to generate thermal decoy effects at physical input interface 106. In some such embodiments, physical input interface 106 may comprise a metallic keypad or keyboard. In various embodiments, effect generator 426 may be configured to use one or more heating elements to generate such thermal decoy effects. In some embodiments, as illustrated by thermal image 500 of FIG. 5, such thermal decoy effects may comprise one or more randomly-generated thermal patterns. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

It is worthy of note that it is both possible and contemplated that in various embodiments, given residual effects/residual input indicators that are created by physical input at a given physical input interface may not necessarily constitute thermal effects. As such, in some embodiments, effect generator 426 may alternatively (or additionally) be configured to generate decoy effects of a type (or types) other than thermal effects. In various embodiments, for example, effect generator 426 may be configured to generate electromagnetic decoy effects. In another example, in some embodiments, effect generator 426 may be configured to generate optical decoy effects. The embodiments are not limited to these examples.

In various embodiments, effect generator 426 may be configured to generate decoy effects at physical input interface 106 in a naive fashion, without consideration of the particular nature of any residual effects/residual input indicators (if any) that are present at physical input interface 106. In some other embodiments, effect generator 426 may be configured to dynamically select one or more decoy effects to be generated, based on characteristics of one or more residual input indicators present at physical input interface 106. In various embodiments, for example, user interface apparatus 404 may comprise an effect sensor 428, which may be operative to monitor physical input interface 106 for residual input indicators. In some such embodiments, effect generator 426 may select one or more decoy effects based on characteristics of one or more residual input indicators detected by effect sensor 428. In various embodiments, effect generator 426 may refrain from generating decoy effects at physical input interface 106 when effect sensor 428 indicates that no residual input indicators are present at physical input interface 106. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

In some embodiments, effect generator 426 may generate one or more decoy effects at physical input interface 106 based at least in part on a determination of one or more ambient conditions. For example, in various embodiments, in conjunction with concealing residual thermal effects of user input at physical input interface 106, effect generator 426 may generate one or more thermal decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient air temperature. In another example, in some embodiments, in conjunction with concealing residual optical effects of user input at physical input interface 106, effect generator 426 may generate one or more optical decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient light level. In various embodiments, user interface apparatus 404 may comprise one or more ambient condition sensors 430 operative to monitor one or more such ambient conditions, and effect generator 426 may determine a given ambient condition based on information received from a given ambient condition sensor 430. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

Operations for the above embodiments may be further described with reference to the following figures and accompanying examples. Some of the figures may include a logic flow. Although such figures presented herein may include a particular logic flow, it can be appreciated that the logic flow merely provides an example of how the general functionality as described herein can be implemented. Further, the given logic flow does not necessarily have to be executed in the order presented unless otherwise indicated. In addition, the given logic flow may be implemented by a hardware element, a software element executed by a processor, or any combination thereof. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

FIG. 6 illustrates one embodiment of a logic flow 600 that may be representative of the implementation of one or more eavesdropping prevention techniques for physical input interfaces according to some embodiments. For example, logic flow 600 may be representative of operations that may be performed by user interface apparatus 404 in operating environment 400 of FIG. 4. According to logic flow 600, physical input may be received at 602 via one or more interface elements of a physical input interface. For example, in operating environment 400 of FIG. 4, physical input may be received via one or more interface elements 108 of physical input interface 106. At 604, one or more input indicator signals may be generated in response to the physical input. For example, in operating environment 400 of FIG. 4, interface circuitry 110 may generate one or more input indicator signals 112 in response to the physical input received at 602. At 606, one or more decoy effects may be generated at the physical input interface to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface. For example, in operating environment 400 of FIG. 4, effect generator 426 may generate one or more decoy effects at physical input interface 106 to conceal one or more residual effects resulting at physical input interface 106 from the physical input received at 602. The embodiments are not limited to these examples.

FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of a storage medium 700. Storage medium 700 may comprise any non-transitory computer-readable storage medium or machine-readable storage medium, such as an optical, magnetic or semiconductor storage medium. In various embodiments, storage medium 700 may comprise an article of manufacture. In some embodiments, storage medium 700 may store computer-executable instructions, such as computer-executable instructions to implement logic flow 600. Examples of a computer-readable storage medium or machine-readable storage medium may include any tangible media capable of storing electronic data, including volatile memory or non-volatile memory, removable or non-removable memory, erasable or non-erasable memory, writeable or re-writeable memory, and so forth. Examples of computer-executable instructions may include any suitable type of code, such as source code, compiled code, interpreted code, executable code, static code, dynamic code, object-oriented code, visual code, and the like. The embodiments are not limited in this context. FIG. 8 illustrates one embodiment of a system 800. In various embodiments, system 800 may be representative of a system or architecture suitable for use with one or more embodiments described herein. For example, system 800 may be representative of a system or architecture suitable for use in implementing one or more of user interface apparatus 404, user service system 440, and logic flow 600. The embodiments are not limited in this respect.

As shown in FIG. 8, system 800 may include multiple elements. One or more elements may be implemented using one or more circuits, components, registers, processors, software subroutines, modules, or any combination thereof, as desired for a given set of design or performance constraints. Although FIG. 8 shows a limited number of elements in a certain topology by way of example, it can be appreciated that more or less elements in any suitable topology may be used in system 800 as desired for a given implementation. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

In various embodiments, system 800 may include a processor circuit 802.

Processor circuit 802 may be implemented using any processor or logic device, and may be the same as or similar to processor circuit 418 of FIG. 4.

In some embodiments, system 800 may include a memory unit 804 to couple to processor circuit 802. In various embodiments, memory unit 804 may be coupled to processor circuit 802 via communications bus 843, or by a dedicated communications bus between processor circuit 802 and memory unit 804, as desired for a given implementation. Memory unit 804 may be implemented using any machine-readable or computer-readable media capable of storing data, including both volatile and non-volatile memory. For example, memory unit 804 may include read-only memory (ROM), random-access memory (RAM), dynamic RAM (DRAM), Double-Data-Rate DRAM (DDRAM), synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), static RAM (SRAM), programmable ROM (PROM), erasable programmable ROM (EPROM), electrically erasable programmable ROM (EEPROM), flash memory, polymer memory such as ferroelectric polymer memory, ovonic memory, phase change or ferroelectric memory, silicon-oxide-nitride-oxide-silicon (SONOS) memory, magnetic or optical cards, or any other type of media suitable for storing information. In some embodiments, the machine-readable or computer-readable medium may comprise a non-transitory medium. It is worthy of note that some portion or all of memory unit 804 may be included on the same integrated circuit as processor circuit 802, or alternatively some portion or all of memory unit 804 may be disposed on an integrated circuit or other medium, for example a hard disk drive, that is external to the integrated circuit of processor circuit 802. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

In various embodiments, system 800 may include a radio frequency (RF) transceiver 844. RF transceiver 844 may include one or more radios capable of transmitting and receiving signals using various suitable wireless communications techniques. Such techniques may involve communications across one or more wireless networks. Exemplary wireless networks include (but are not limited to) wireless local area networks (WLANs), wireless personal area networks (WPANs), wireless metropolitan area network (WMANs), cellular networks, and satellite networks. In communicating across such networks, RF transceiver 844 may operate in accordance with one or more applicable standards in any version. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

In various embodiments, system 800 may include a display 845. Display 845 may comprise any display device capable of displaying information received from processor circuit 802. Examples for display 845 may include a television, a monitor, a projector, and a computer screen. In one embodiment, for example, display 845 may be implemented by a liquid crystal display (LCD), light emitting diode (LED) or other type of suitable visual interface. Display 845 may comprise, for example, a touch-sensitive display screen ("touchscreen"). In various implementations, display 845 may comprise one or more thin-film transistors (TFT) LCD including embedded transistors. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

In various embodiments, system 800 may include storage 846. Storage 846 may be implemented as a non-volatile storage device such as, but not limited to, a magnetic disk drive, optical disk drive, tape drive, an internal storage device, an attached storage device, flash memory, battery backed-up SDRAM (synchronous DRAM), and/or a network accessible storage device. In embodiments, storage 846 may include technology to increase the storage performance enhanced protection for valuable digital media when multiple hard drives are included, for example. Further examples of storage 846 may include a hard disk, floppy disk, Compact Disk Read Only Memory (CD-ROM), Compact Disk Recordable (CD-R), Compact Disk Rewriteable (CD-RW), optical disk, magnetic media, magneto-optical media, removable memory cards or disks, various types of DVD devices, a tape device, a cassette device, or the like. The embodiments are not limited in this context. In various embodiments, system 800 may include one or more I/O adapters 847. Examples of I/O adapters 847 may include Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports/adapters, IEEE 1394 Firewire ports/adapters, and so forth. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of a system 900. In various embodiments, system 900 may be representative of a system or architecture suitable for use with one or more embodiments described herein, such as one or more of user interface apparatus 404, user service system 440, logic flow 600, and system 800. The embodiments are not limited in this respect.

As shown in FIG. 9, system 900 may include multiple elements. One or more elements may be implemented using one or more circuits, components, registers, processors, software subroutines, modules, or any combination thereof, as desired for a given set of design or performance constraints. Although FIG. 9 shows a limited number of elements in a certain topology by way of example, it can be appreciated that more or less elements in any suitable topology may be used in system 900 as desired for a given implementation. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

In embodiments, system 900 may be a media system although system 900 is not limited to this context. For example, system 900 may be incorporated into a personal computer (PC), laptop computer, ultra-laptop computer, tablet, touch pad, portable computer, handheld computer, palmtop computer, personal digital assistant (PDA), cellular telephone, combination cellular telephone/PDA, television, smart device (e.g., smart phone, smart tablet or smart television), mobile internet device (MID), messaging device, data communication device, and so forth.

In embodiments, system 900 includes a platform 901 coupled to a display

945. Platform 901 may receive content from a content device such as content services device(s) 948 or content delivery device(s) 949 or other similar content sources. A navigation controller 950 including one or more navigation features may be used to interact with, for example, platform 901 and/or display 945. Each of these components is described in more detail below.

In embodiments, platform 901 may include any combination of a processor circuit 902, chipset 903, memory unit 904, transceiver 944, storage 946, applications 951, and/or graphics subsystem 952. Chipset 903 may provide intercommunication among processor circuit 902, memory unit 904, transceiver 944, storage 946, applications 951, and/or graphics subsystem 952. For example, chipset 903 may include a storage adapter (not depicted) capable of providing intercommunication with storage 946.

Processor circuit 902 may be implemented using any processor or logic device, and may be the same as or similar to processor circuit 802 in FIG. 8.

Memory unit 904 may be implemented using any machine-readable or computer-readable media capable of storing data, and may be the same as or similar to memory unit 804 in FIG. 8.

Transceiver 944 may include one or more radios capable of transmitting and receiving signals using various suitable wireless communications techniques, and may be the same as or similar to transceiver 844 in FIG. 8.

Display 945 may include any television type monitor or display, and may be the same as or similar to display 845 in FIG 8.

Storage 946 may be implemented as a non-volatile storage device, and may be the same as or similar to storage 846 in FIG. 8.

Graphics subsystem 952 may perform processing of images such as still or video for display. Graphics subsystem 952 may be a graphics processing unit (GPU) or a visual processing unit (VPU), for example. An analog or digital interface may be used to communicatively couple graphics subsystem 952 and display 945. For example, the interface may be any of a High-Definition Multimedia Interface, DisplayPort, wireless HDMI, and/or wireless HD compliant techniques. Graphics subsystem 952 could be integrated into processor circuit 902 or chipset 903. Graphics subsystem 952 could be a stand-alone card communicatively coupled to chipset 903.

The graphics and/or video processing techniques described herein may be implemented in various hardware architectures. For example, graphics and/or video functionality may be integrated within a chipset. Alternatively, a discrete graphics and/or video processor may be used. As still another embodiment, the graphics and/or video functions may be implemented by a general purpose processor, including a multi-core processor. In a further embodiment, the functions may be implemented in a consumer electronics device.

In embodiments, content services device(s) 948 may be hosted by any national, international and/or independent service and thus accessible to platform 901 via the Internet, for example. Content services device(s) 948 may be coupled to platform 901 and/or to display 945. Platform 901 and/or content services device(s) 948 may be coupled to a network 953 to communicate (e.g., send and/or receive) media information to and from network 953. Content delivery device(s) 949 also may be coupled to platform 901 and/or to display 945.

In embodiments, content services device(s) 948 may include a cable television box, personal computer, network, telephone, Internet enabled devices or appliance capable of delivering digital information and/or content, and any other similar device capable of unidirectionally or bidirectionally communicating content between content providers and platform 901 and/display 945, via network 953 or directly. It will be appreciated that the content may be communicated unidirectionally and/or bidirectionally to and from any one of the components in system 900 and a content provider via network 953. Examples of content may include any media information including, for example, video, music, medical and gaming information, and so forth.

Content services device(s) 948 receives content such as cable television programming including media information, digital information, and/or other content. Examples of content providers may include any cable or satellite television or radio or Internet content providers. The provided examples are not meant to limit embodiments of the disclosed subject matter.

In embodiments, platform 901 may receive control signals from navigation controller 950 having one or more navigation features. The navigation features of navigation controller 950 may be used to interact with a user interface 954, for example. In embodiments, navigation controller 950 may be a pointing device that may be a computer hardware component (specifically human interface device) that allows a user to input spatial (e.g., continuous and multi-dimensional) data into a computer. Many systems such as graphical user interfaces (GUI), and televisions and monitors allow the user to control and provide data to the computer or television using physical gestures.

Movements of the navigation features of navigation controller 950 may be echoed on a display (e.g., display 945) by movements of a pointer, cursor, focus ring, or other visual indicators displayed on the display. For example, under the control of software applications 951, the navigation features located on navigation controller 950 may be mapped to virtual navigation features displayed on user interface 954. In embodiments, navigation controller 950 may not be a separate component but integrated into platform 901 and/or display 945. Embodiments, however, are not limited to the elements or in the context shown or described herein. In embodiments, drivers (not shown) may include technology to enable users to instantly turn on and off platform 901 like a television with the touch of a button after initial boot-up, when enabled, for example. Program logic may allow platform 901 to stream content to media adaptors or other content services device(s) 948 or content delivery device(s) 949 when the platform is turned "off." In addition, chip set 903 may include hardware and/or software support for 5.1 surround sound audio and/or high definition 7.1 surround sound audio, for example. Drivers may include a graphics driver for integrated graphics platforms. In embodiments, the graphics driver may include a peripheral component interconnect (PCI) Express graphics card.

In various embodiments, any one or more of the components shown in system 900 may be integrated. For example, platform 901 and content services device(s) 948 may be integrated, or platform 901 and content delivery device(s) 949 may be integrated, or platform 901, content services device(s) 948, and content delivery device(s) 949 may be integrated, for example. In various embodiments, platform 901 and display 945 may be an integrated unit. Display 945 and content service device(s) 948 may be integrated, or display 945 and content delivery device(s) 949 may be integrated, for example. These examples are not meant to limit the disclosed subject matter.

In various embodiments, system 900 may be implemented as a wireless system, a wired system, or a combination of both. When implemented as a wireless system, system 900 may include components and interfaces suitable for communicating over a wireless shared media, such as one or more antennas, transmitters, receivers, transceivers, amplifiers, filters, control logic, and so forth. An example of wireless shared media may include portions of a wireless spectrum, such as the RF spectrum and so forth. When implemented as a wired system, system 900 may include components and interfaces suitable for communicating over wired communications media, such as I/O adapters, physical connectors to connect the I/O adapter with a corresponding wired communications medium, a network interface card (NIC), disc controller, video controller, audio controller, and so forth. Examples of wired communications media may include a wire, cable, metal leads, printed circuit board (PCB), backplane, switch fabric, semiconductor material, twisted-pair wire, co-axial cable, fiber optics, and so forth.

Platform 901 may establish one or more logical or physical channels to communicate information. The information may include media information and control information. Media information may refer to any data representing content meant for a user. Examples of content may include, for example, data from a voice conversation, videoconference, streaming video, electronic mail ("email") message, voice mail message, alphanumeric symbols, graphics, image, video, text and so forth. Data from a voice conversation may be, for example, speech information, silence periods, background noise, comfort noise, tones and so forth. Control information may refer to any data representing commands, instructions or control words meant for an automated system. For example, control information may be used to route media information through a system, or instruct a node to process the media information in a predetermined manner. The embodiments, however, are not limited to the elements or in the context shown or described in FIG. 9.

As described above, system 900 may be embodied in varying physical styles or form factors. FIG. 10 illustrates embodiments of a small form factor device 1000 in which system 900 may be embodied. In embodiments, for example, device 1000 may be implemented as a mobile computing device having wireless capabilities. A mobile computing device may refer to any device having a processing system and a mobile power source or supply, such as one or more batteries, for example.

As described above, examples of a mobile computing device may include a personal computer (PC), laptop computer, ultra-laptop computer, tablet, touch pad, portable computer, handheld computer, palmtop computer, personal digital assistant (PDA), cellular telephone, combination cellular telephone/PDA, television, smart device (e.g., smart phone, smart tablet or smart television), mobile internet device (MID), messaging device, data communication device, and so forth.

Examples of a mobile computing device also may include computers that are arranged to be worn by a person, such as a wrist computer, finger computer, ring computer, eyeglass computer, belt-clip computer, arm-band computer, shoe computers, clothing computers, and other wearable computers. In embodiments, for example, a mobile computing device may be implemented as a smart phone capable of executing computer applications, as well as voice communications and/or data communications. Although some embodiments may be described with a mobile computing device implemented as a smart phone by way of example, it may be appreciated that other embodiments may be implemented using other wireless mobile computing devices as well. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

As shown in FIG. 10, device 1000 may include a display 1045, a navigation controller 1050, a user interface 1054, a housing 1055, an I/O device 1056, and an antenna 1057. Display 1045 may include any suitable display unit for displaying information appropriate for a mobile computing device, and may be the same as or similar to display 945 in FIG. 9. Navigation controller 1050 may include one or more navigation features which may be used to interact with user interface 1054, and may be the same as or similar to navigation controller 950 in FIG. 9. I/O device 1056 may include any suitable I/O device for entering information into a mobile computing device. Examples for I/O device 1056 may include an alphanumeric keyboard, a numeric keypad, a touch pad, input keys, buttons, switches, rocker switches, microphones, speakers, voice recognition device and software, and so forth. Information also may be entered into device 1000 by way of microphone. Such information may be digitized by a voice recognition device. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

Various embodiments may be implemented using hardware elements, software elements, or a combination of both. Examples of hardware elements may include processors, microprocessors, circuits, circuit elements (e.g., transistors, resistors, capacitors, inductors, and so forth), integrated circuits, application specific integrated circuits (ASIC), programmable logic devices (PLD), digital signal processors (DSP), field programmable gate array (FPGA), logic gates, registers, semiconductor device, chips, microchips, chip sets, and so forth. Examples of software may include software components, programs, applications, computer programs, application programs, system programs, machine programs, operating system software, middleware, firmware, software modules, routines, subroutines, functions, methods, procedures, software interfaces, application program interfaces (API), instruction sets, computing code, computer code, code segments, computer code segments, words, values, symbols, or any combination thereof. Determining whether an embodiment is implemented using hardware elements and/or software elements may vary in accordance with any number of factors, such as desired computational rate, power levels, heat tolerances, processing cycle budget, input data rates, output data rates, memory resources, data bus speeds and other design or performance constraints.

One or more aspects of at least one embodiment may be implemented by representative instructions stored on a machine-readable medium which represents various logic within the processor, which when read by a machine causes the machine to fabricate logic to perform the techniques described herein. Such representations, known as "IP cores" may be stored on a tangible, machine readable medium and supplied to various customers or manufacturing facilities to load into the fabrication machines that actually make the logic or processor. Some embodiments may be implemented, for example, using a machine-readable medium or article which may store an instruction or a set of instructions that, if executed by a machine, may cause the machine to perform a method and/or operations in accordance with the embodiments. Such a machine may include, for example, any suitable processing platform, computing platform, computing device, processing device, computing system, processing system, computer, processor, or the like, and may be implemented using any suitable combination of hardware and/or software. The machine-readable medium or article may include, for example, any suitable type of memory unit, memory device, memory article, memory medium, storage device, storage article, storage medium and/or storage unit, for example, memory, removable or non-removable media, erasable or nonerasable media, writeable or re-writeable media, digital or analog media, hard disk, floppy disk, Compact Disk Read Only Memory (CD-ROM), Compact Disk Recordable (CD-R), Compact Disk Rewriteable (CD-RW), optical disk, magnetic media, magneto-optical media, removable memory cards or disks, various types of Digital Versatile Disk (DVD), a tape, a cassette, or the like. The instructions may include any suitable type of code, such as source code, compiled code, interpreted code, executable code, static code, dynamic code, encrypted code, and the like, implemented using any suitable high-level, low-level, object-oriented, visual, compiled and/or interpreted programming language.

The following examples pertain to further embodiments:

Example 1 is an apparatus, comprising a physical input interface to receive physical input via one or more interface elements, interface circuitry to generate one or more input indicator signals in response to the physical input, and an effect generator to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface by generating one or more decoy effects at the physical input interface.

Example 2 is the apparatus of Example 1, the physical input interface to comprise a keypad.

Example 3 is the apparatus of any of Examples 1 to 2, the physical input interface to comprise a touchscreen.

Example 4 is the apparatus of any of Examples 1 to 3, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more thermal effects. Example 5 is the apparatus of Example 4, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more randomly-generated thermal patterns.

Example 6 is the apparatus of any of Examples 1 to 5, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more electromagnetic effects.

Example 7 is the apparatus of any of Examples 1 to 6, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more optical effects.

Example 8 is the apparatus of any of Examples 1 to 7, the one or more interface elements to comprise physical elements.

Example 9 is the apparatus of any of Examples 1 to 7, the one or more interface elements to comprise virtual elements.

Example 10 is the apparatus of any of Examples 1 to 9, comprising an effect sensor to monitor the physical input interface for residual input indicators.

Example 11 is the apparatus of Example 10, the effect generator to select the one or more decoy effects based on characteristics of one or more residual input indicators detected by the effect sensor.

Example 12 is the apparatus of any of Examples 1 to 11, the effect generator to generate the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of one or more ambient conditions.

Example 13 is the apparatus of Example 12, the effect generator to generate the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient temperature.

Example 14 is the apparatus of any of Examples 12 to 13, the effect generator to generate the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient light level.

Example 15 is the apparatus of any of Examples 1 to 14, comprising conversion circuitry to convert the one or more input indicator signals into logical input values.

Example 16 is the apparatus of Example 15, the conversion circuitry to forward the logical input values to a processor circuit.

Example 17 is a system, comprising the apparatus of Example 15, and a processor circuit to execute a user service application, the processor circuit to receive the logical input values from the conversion circuitry and process the logical input values as inputs to the user service application.

Example 18 is a method, comprising receiving physical input via one or more interface elements of a physical input interface, generating one or more input indicator signals in response to the physical input, and generating one or more decoy effects at the physical input interface to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface.

Example 19 is the method of Example 18, the physical input interface to comprise a keypad.

Example 20 is the method of any of Examples 18 to 19, the physical input interface to comprise a touchscreen.

Example 21 is the method of any of Examples 18 to 20, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more thermal effects.

Example 22 is the method of Example 21, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more randomly-generated thermal patterns.

Example 23 is the method of any of Examples 18 to 22, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more electromagnetic effects.

Example 24 is the method of any of Examples 18 to 23, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more optical effects.

Example 25 is the method of any of Examples 18 to 24, the one or more interface elements to comprise physical elements.

Example 26 is the method of any of Examples 18 to 24, the one or more interface elements to comprise virtual elements.

Example 27 is the method of any of Examples 18 to 26, comprising monitoring the physical input interface for residual input indicators.

Example 28 is the method of Example 27, comprising detecting one or more residual input indicators, and selecting the one or more decoy effects based on characteristics of the one or more residual input indicators.

Example 29 is the method of any of Examples 18 to 28, comprising generating the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of one or more ambient conditions.

Example 30 is the method of Example 29, comprising generating the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient temperature.

Example 31 is the method of any of Examples 29 to 30, comprising generating the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient light level.

Example 32 is the method of any of Examples 18 to 31, comprising converting the one or more input indicator signals into logical input values. Example 33 is the method of Example 32, comprising forwarding the logical input values to a processor circuit.

Example 34 is at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium comprising a set of instructions that, in response to being executed at a user interface device, cause the user interface device to perform a method according to any of Examples 18 to 33.

Example 35 is an apparatus, comprising means for performing a method according to any of Examples 18 to 33.

Example 36 is at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium comprising a set of instructions that, in response to being executed at a user interface device, cause the user interface device to receiving physical input via one or more interface elements of a physical input interface, generating one or more input indicator signals in response to the physical input, and generating one or more decoy effects at the physical input interface to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface.

Example 37 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of Example 36, the physical input interface to comprise a keypad.

Example 38 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 36 to 37, the physical input interface to comprise a touchscreen.

Example 39 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 36 to 38, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more thermal effects.

Example 40 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of Example 39, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more randomly-generated thermal patterns.

Example 41 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 36 to 40, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more electromagnetic effects.

Example 42 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 36 to 41, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more optical effects.

Example 43 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 36 to 42, the one or more interface elements to comprise physical elements. Example 44 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 36 to 42, the one or more interface elements to comprise virtual elements.

Example 45 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 36 to 44, comprising instructions that, in response to being executed at the user interface device, cause the user interface device to monitor the physical input interface for residual input indicators.

Example 46 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of Example 45, comprising instructions that, in response to being executed at the user interface device, cause the user interface device to detect one or more residual input indicators, and select the one or more decoy effects based on characteristics of the one or more residual input indicators.

Example 47 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 36 to 46, comprising instructions that, in response to being executed at the user interface device, cause the user interface device to generate the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of one or more ambient conditions.

Example 48 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of Example 47, comprising instructions that, in response to being executed at the user interface device, cause the user interface device to generate the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient temperature.

Example 49 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 47 to 48, comprising instructions that, in response to being executed at the user interface device, cause the user interface device to generate the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient light level.

Example 50 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of any of Examples 36 to 49, comprising instructions that, in response to being executed at the user interface device, cause the user interface device to convert the one or more input indicator signals into logical input values.

Example 51 is the at least one non-transitory machine-readable storage medium of Example 50, comprising instructions that, in response to being executed at the user interface device, cause the user interface device to forward the logical input values to a processor circuit. Example 52 is an apparatus, comprising means for generating one or more input indicator signals in response to physical input received via one or more interface elements of a physical input interface, and means for generating one or more decoy effects at the physical input interface to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface.

Example 53 is the apparatus of Example 52, the physical input interface to comprise a keypad.

Example 54 is the apparatus of any of Examples 52 to 53, the physical input interface to comprise a touchscreen.

Example 55 is the apparatus of any of Examples 52 to 54, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more thermal effects.

Example 56 is the apparatus of Example 55, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more randomly-generated thermal patterns.

Example 57 is the apparatus of any of Examples 52 to 56, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more electromagnetic effects.

Example 58 is the apparatus of any of Examples 52 to 57, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more optical effects.

Example 59 is the apparatus of any of Examples 52 to 58, the one or more interface elements to comprise physical elements.

Example 60 is the apparatus of any of Examples 52 to 58, the one or more interface elements to comprise virtual elements.

Example 61 is the apparatus of any of Examples 52 to 60, comprising means for monitoring the physical input interface for residual input indicators.

Example 62 is the apparatus of Example 61, comprising means for detecting one or more residual input indicators, and means for selecting the one or more decoy effects based on characteristics of the one or more residual input indicators.

Example 63 is the apparatus of any of Examples 52 to 62, comprising means for generating the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of one or more ambient conditions.

Example 64 is the apparatus of Example 63, comprising means for generating the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient temperature.

Example 65 is the apparatus of any of Examples 63 to 64, comprising means for generating the one or more decoy effects based at least in part on a determination of an ambient light level. Example 66 is the apparatus of any of .Examples 52 to 65, comprising means for converting the one or more input indicator signals into logical input values.

Example 67 is the apparatus of Example 66, comprising means for forwarding the logical input values to a processor circuit.

Example 68 is a system, comprising the apparatus of Example 66, and a processor circuit to execute a user service application, the processor circuit to receive the logical input values and process the logical input values as inputs to the user service application.

Example 69 is an apparatus, comprising a keypad to receive physical input via one or more keys, interface circuitry to generate one or more input indicator signals in response to the physical input, and an effect generator to conceal one or more residual thermal effects of the physical input at the keypad by generating one or more thermal decoy effects at the keypad.

Example 70 is the apparatus of Example 69, the keypad comprising a metallic keypad or a ruggedized plastic keypad.

Example 71 is the apparatus of any of Examples 69 to 70, the one or more thermal decoy effects to include one or more randomly-generated thermal patterns.

Example 72 is the apparatus of any of Examples 69 to 71, the one or more residual thermal effects to comprise thermal fingerprints.

Example 73 is the apparatus of any of Examples 69 to 72, comprising conversion circuitry to convert the one or more input indicator signals into logical input values.

Example 74 is a system, comprising the apparatus of Example 73, and a processor circuit to execute a user service application, the processor circuit to receive the logical input values from the conversion circuitry and process the logical input values as inputs to the user service application.

Example 75 is a system, comprising an apparatus according to any of Examples 69 to 73, and lock circuitry coupled to the interface circuitry, the lock circuitry to control a lock based at least in part of the one or more input indicator signals.

Example 76 is a system, comprising a processor circuit to execute a user service application, and a user interface apparatus coupled to the processor circuit, the user interface apparatus comprising a physical input interface to receive physical input via one or more interface elements, circuitry to generate one or more logical input values based on the physical input and forward the one or more logical input values to the processor circuit, and an effect generator to conceal one or more residual effects of the physical input at the physical input interface by generating one or more decoy effects at the physical input interface.

Example 77 is the system of Example 76, the physical input interface to comprise a keypad.

Example 78 is the system of Example 76 to 77, the physical input interface to comprise a touchscreen.

Example 79 is the system of any of Examples 76 to 78, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more thermal effects.

Example 80 is the system of any of Examples 76 to 79, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more electromagnetic effects.

Example 81 is the system of any of Examples 76 to 80, the one or more decoy effects to include one or more optical effects.

Example 82 is the system of any of Examples 76 to 81, the one or more interface elements to comprise physical elements.

Example 83 is the system of any of Examples 76 to 82, the one or more interface elements to comprise virtual elements.

Numerous specific details have been set forth herein to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments. It will be understood by those skilled in the art, however, that the embodiments may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known operations, components, and circuits have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the embodiments. It can be appreciated that the specific structural and functional details disclosed herein may be representative and do not necessarily limit the scope of the embodiments.

Some embodiments may be described using the expression "coupled" and

"connected" along with their derivatives. These terms are not intended as synonyms for each other. For example, some embodiments may be described using the terms "connected" and/or "coupled" to indicate that two or more elements are in direct physical or electrical contact with each other. The term "coupled," however, may also mean that two or more elements are not in direct contact with each other, but yet still co-operate or interact with each other.

Unless specifically stated otherwise, it may be appreciated that terms such as "processing," "computing," "calculating," "determining," or the like, refer to the action and/or processes of a computer or computing system, or similar electronic computing device, that manipulates and/or transforms data represented as physical quantities (e.g., electronic) within the computing system's registers and/or memories into other data similarly represented as physical quantities within the computing system's memories, registers or other such information storage, transmission or display devices. The embodiments are not limited in this context.

It should be noted that the methods described herein do not have to be executed in the order described, or in any particular order. Moreover, various activities described with respect to the methods identified herein can be executed in serial or parallel fashion.

Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it should be appreciated that any arrangement calculated to achieve the same purpose may be substituted for the specific embodiments shown. This disclosure is intended to cover any and all adaptations or variations of various embodiments. It is to be understood that the above description has been made in an illustrative fashion, and not a restrictive one. Combinations of the above embodiments, and other embodiments not specifically described herein will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reviewing the above description. Thus, the scope of various embodiments includes any other applications in which the above compositions, structures, and methods are used.

It is emphasized that the Abstract of the Disclosure is provided to comply with 37 C.F.R. § 1.72(b), requiring an abstract that will allow the reader to quickly ascertain the nature of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. In addition, in the foregoing Detailed Description, it can be seen that various features are grouped together in a single embodiment for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed embodiments require more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive subject matter lies in less than all features of a single disclosed embodiment. Thus the following claims are hereby incorporated into the Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate preferred embodiment. In the appended claims, the terms "including" and "in which" are used as the plain-English equivalents of the respective terms "comprising" and "wherein," respectively. Moreover, the terms "first," "second," and "third," etc. are used merely as labels, and are not intended to impose numerical requirements on their objects. Although the subject matter has been described in language specific to structural features and/or methodological acts, it is to be understood that the subject matter defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific features or acts described above. Rather, the specific features and acts described above are disclosed as example forms of implementing the claims.