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SlickLogin bought by Google: Passwords replaced with inaudible sound waves?

SlickLogin released the following statement earlier: “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.” – The SlickLogin Team

SlickLogin is an Israeli start-up company that aimed to create sound-based password alternatives. It’s a novel idea that would enable us to log into to any password protected site using an app on a smartphone. The idea is that a website would play a unique and inaudible sound that the smartphone would interpret, then send an answer to the website’s server in responsive, allowing you to log in.

It sounds great in theory; you could sit down at your computer, open a single app and have access to emails, social media and any other password protected sites without having to press a single key.  People have already asked questions of SlickLogin’s idea however, and one example of this revolves around losing your smartphone. So it’s more likely SlickLogin’s technology will used to supplement a second verification process within Google services, in keeping with Google’s aim to provide two-stage sign ins for better security. Google hopes this will improve security and reduce the risk of online identity theft, phishing and other scams.

There’s another flaw I see with this technology: I, like many other PC users (especially in the office environment), don’t have a speaker on my computer. To get something like SlickLogin to work I would have to invest in a set of speakers or hold my headset to my phone whenever I wanted to sign in – not ideal.

The company was founded by three graduates of the Israeli Defence Forces elite cyber security unit (yes, that is a real thing). So far the company is yet to launch a product and has acquired zero clients, so Google is essentially buying an idea at the moment. SlickLogin is yet another in a long line of companies bought out by Google and pretty soon there won’t be many tech companies they don’t own.