Advertising giant Google has acquired SlickLogin, a start-up company which aims to replace passwords with an audio-based challenge-response system claimed to be inaudible to human ears.
SlickLogin's audio-based challenge-response system is likely to appear in a future Android release, as the company is now a Google subsidiary.
Designed to solve the problem of memorising and entering numerous unique passwords for commonly-used sites without the security issue of storing said passwords on your computer, SlickLogin works by having the browser - typically running on a laptop or tablet - trigger an audio signal inaudible to human ears. This signal is picked up by a smartphone running the SlickLogin software, which generates its own signal and plays it back - completing a challenge-response login similar to that offered by smartcards or radiofrequency ID tags but without the need for special hardware.
'We started SlickLogin because security measures had become overly complicated and annoying,
' the Israeli team claimed in its announcement of the acquisition. 'Our friends thought we were insane, but we knew we could do better. So we set out to improve security while still making it simple for people to log in.
'Today we're announcing that the SlickLogin team is joining Google, a company that shares our core beliefs that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way. Google was the first company to offer 2-step verification to everyone, for free - and they're working on some great ideas that will make the internet safer for everyone. We couldn't be more excited to join their efforts.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Google is expected to wrap the technology into a future version of its Android operating system.