If you are one of the many long-suffering people who have gone for a coffee break and come back to a computer screen full of gibberish or a crashed system, PawSense is for you!
"PawSense is a software utility that helps protect your computer from cats. It quickly detects and blocks cat typing, and also helps train your cat to stay off the computer keyboard" is how BitBoost described the product.
Chris Niswander, a graduate in computer science from Arizona State University, is the creator of this path-breaking product. "One day, my sister's cat, Amos, walked across her computer keyboard and managed to uninstall some software, delete crucial files and crash the machine. I figured out that he'd triggered a series of keyboard shortcuts (ALT, CTRL, F1-F2) with his paws," recalled Niswander, according to Priceonomics.
So Niswander set to work to create something that could save computer systems from falling prey to cats.
To write software that could "detect" "cat-like typing," Niswander said he "made these cardboard cutouts of cat paws, then 'walked' them across my keyboard, pretending I was a cat."
"When a cat first places its paw down, the cat's weight plus the momentum of the cat's movement exerts pounds of force on the keyboard, primarily through the cat's paw pads. The cat's paw angles and toe positions also undergo complex changes while the paw lands on the keyboard. This forces keys and often key combinations down in a distinctive style of typing which includes unusual timing patterns," he explained more scientifically.
And the software works. Whenever PawSense detects a cat, which usually takes "one or two pawsteps," it locks the keyboard, preventing the animal from damaging the operating system. Loud, annoying noises also start playing from the system, to scare the cat away.
A person has to either type the word "human" or click a bar on the screen that says "Let me use the computer!" to reuse it, reported radio-web blogs.
For his invention, Niswander was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in Computer Science in the year 2000, reported Strange Inventions.