Google Wants To Replace Passwords With USB Keys And ‘Smart Rings’

Who hasn’t forgotten a password a time or two? Or ten? Coupling password forgetfulness with identity theft is pushing Google to do away with typed-in passwords altogether. Google is researching ways to replace typed-in passwords with USB key rings and smart rings.

Typed-in passwords are not as safe as they were back when people first started using computers. Nowadays it’s easy and quite common for sites to get hacked and gather your personal information.

“Along with many in the industry, we feel passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe,” said Google Vice President of Security Eric Grosse and Engineer Mayank Upadhyay in their upcoming research paper in IEE Security Privacy Magazine, according to Wired.

Google is researching options to typed-in password. One idea is using an actual key. They are reviewing YubiKey cryptographic card that the user puts in the USB port to log into Google. Another idea is to use a ring worn on your finger.

Groosse and Upadhyay wrote, “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,” reports Wired.

In the future we may not be completely free of passwords. But, we won’t have to remember of those complex, hard-to-remember password Grosse said. “We’ll have to have some form of screen unlock, maybe passwords but maybe something else, but the primary authenticator will be a token like this or some equivalent piece of hardward,” he added.

Until these new ideas can be implemented Google has a lot to do. Digital Trends says Google would need to have back up plans if a key gets lost or stolen. Other websites and online services would have to support the new typed-in password alternative.