February 17, 2014
Google has acquired sound-based password company SlickLogin, only five months after the startup launched at TechCrunch Disrupt. The service, currently in beta testing, was designed as a password alternative or an extra security layer for existing passwords. Google’s acquisition could lead to the audio-based technology being used to log in to Android phones, Chrome browsers, Gmail or Google+ in the future. Specifics of the deal have yet to be announced.
“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,” reads the SlickLogin homepage. “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.”
“When you click to log in to a site, the SlickLogin widget plays a unique sound through your computer speakers,” explains Digital Trends. “An app running on your phone then picks up and analyzes this sound, pinging back a response that confirms your identity. It’s a slightly more straightforward version of existing two-step verification technology.”
According to TechCrunch, SlickLogin was developed “to be used either as a password replacement, or as a secondary, two-factor authentication layer on top of a traditional password. The company rolled their product into a small, closed beta after debuting it at Disrupt, and hadn’t yet opened it up to everyone when they were acquired.”
The TechCrunch post includes a 12-minute video from the Disrupt event.