Innovation That Matters

Keyboard app sends encrypted, hidden messages


Kibo is a keyboard extension that sends a decoy message to hide users' true text.

Privacy is an increasing need for consumers wary of today’s pervasive interconnectedness. From jacket pockets that block all wireless signal to apps that notify users when a satellite is taking their picture, we have seen ingenious ways startups are catering to this need. US-based Kibo have developed a keyboard extension to help keep messages hidden.


Kibo can be used across existing instant messaging services such as iMessage and WhatsApp. When sending a hidden message, users press a padlock symbol on their keyboard, which encrypts the text. The recipient, who must also have Kibo on their device, will see a decoy message (such as ‘Hi, how’s it going?’) on their lock screens and messaging screens, and the true message is only available when they also access their Kibo keyboard — they can also password-protect this access for added security. Unlike currently available apps that encrypt messages and calls, Kibo goes a step further to prevent security threats from over-the-shoulder cameras or bystanders.

Kibo describe their hidden keyboard as complementing other private instant messaging services such as Snapchat, which permanently deletes messages after sending. Could hidden messages be used in marketing campaigns, say, to disclose a ‘secret’ discount code?



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