Will a Ring Replace Your Google Password?

If you want to log into Google, then you’d better put a ring on it—at least that may be the case in the future if the company moves away from typed passwords.  

The search giant revealed its possible plans earlier this year in an academic paper published by Eric Grosse, vice president of security engineering at Google, and Mayank Upadhyay, software engineer at the company.

The document states:

Consumer provisioning should allow users to buy a compliant token from a vendor of their choice, insert it into a computer where they’re already authenticated to a website, and register their token with a single mouse click.

However, having to carry an additional token is likely to be a barrier to adoption for many consumers. Some more appealing form factors might involve the integration with smartphones or jewelry that users are likely to carry anyway—We’d like your smartphone or smartcard-embedded finger ring to authorize a new computer via a tap on the computer, even in situations in which your phone might be without cellular connectivity.

During the RSA Security conference held in San Francisco in February, Upadhyay spoke publicly about the possibility of using hardware to log in, making the Internet more secure. He explained how the new login system would work similarly to an ATM.  

“The team is thinking beyond the password,” said Jay Nancarrow, global communications manager at Google. “Their interest is less about the device, and more about the underlying technology.”

However, the Google team doesn’t plan on embracing the jeweled technology just yet. “The possibility of a ring may find its way if users find it more convenient to wear a ring instead of carrying a card,” Nancarrow said. “But it’s still up for discussion.”

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