Ronny Lam

about://tech

Google Wants to Replace All Your Passwords With a Ring

Google is experimenting with a ring that will purpose as a password-manager.

Google’s trial was focused on a slim USB key that performs a cryptographic transaction with an online service to prove the key’s validity when it’s plugged into a computer. The key also has a contactless chip inside so that it can be used to log in via mobile devices.

This is a very cool solution, provided that somewhere in the transaction also a PIN is provided. Good security is based on something you have (the ring) and something you know (the PIN). There may be alternatives to the PIN, but things like the retina are not an option. Or don’t we remember “Never say never again”?

I remember, already in 1998 we have been playing with the Java Ring at Snow B.V. for exactly the same purpose. I am pretty sure it is still in a vitrine over there. At that time it looked like a pretty cool thing, but if I remember correctly integration with other applications was difficult. Authentication API’s where at that time not as common as they are now. Today the possibilities are nearly endless and the need for such a solution is bigger than ever.

Cool to see how some things repeat in time. Can’t wait to try one.