Google's Vision For A 'Password-Less' Future

21 January 2013

Wired:

The future may not exactly be password-free, but it will at be least free of those complex, hard-to-remember passwords, says Grosse. “We’ll have to have some form of screen unlock, maybe passwords but maybe something else,“ he says, “but the primary authenticator will be a token like this or some equivalent piece of hardware.”

I’ve pondered Apple’s AuthenTec acquisition ever since it was revealed. Last week, on rumours of a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S, I thought that AuthenTec technology combined with NFC could form a clever solution for mobile payments.

But, also, I suppose it makes sense as a general password. Strong passwords are not meant for mobile devices. They have to be long, and require tedious character entry. Biometrics match up with this problem really well — you can authorise very securely near instantly. Fingerprint to replace PIN phone unlocks, fingerprint to provide strong security for your mobile services.

Now that I think about it properly, I don’t know why fingerprint sensors haven’t already proliferated our smartphones. It fits so well with the usage cases for on-the-go mobile devices, especially if they can integrate it into the Home Button.