Google acquires company that uses sounds instead of passwords

Avatar By Aaron Sims | 7 years ago

Based on their most recent acquisition, Google is ready to get rid of passwords.

According to a brief report published this morning on MarketWatch, the search engine giant recently finalized negotiations to buy SlickLogin, an Israel-based startup company that specializes in security technology. So far, the company has no actual products or services on the marketplace. However, it appears that Google was swayed enough by SlickLogin’s ideas and conceptual mission statements that it was willing to make the purchase with no commercial products or earnings numbers on the table. Precisely how much Google payed for SlickLogin has not been revealed.

SlickLogin initially reported the acquisition, in a blog post titled “SlickLogin Joins Google.” In the blog, the company stated that its core beliefs – “that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way” – were shared by the global search engine company. Google has been working on two-step login verification for awhile now, and with plentiful stories in the headlines as of late about hackers and data leaks, it’s clear that the world needs more than a single 12 or 20-character password to stay safe in this technology-centered, internet-bound modern age.

So what are SlickLogin’s ideas, and why was Google interested in the company? Supposedly, the company has been working on developing a technology that would use sounds to verify a person’s login identity rather than a typed password. The concept works like this: a website with SlickLogin would, instead of or in addition to asking for a user’s password, generate a high-frequency sound. These sounds would be largely inaudible to the human ear, but would be picked up no problem by the user’s smartphone or tablet. Then, the mobile device, using a SlickLogin application, would analyze the sound and somehow formulate a response sound to authenticate the person’s identity.

Theoretically, SlickLogin would make it nearly impossible for hackers to gain access to another person’s profiles and accounts without having their smartphone to generate an authentication sound. Of course, this would mean trouble for someone who lost their smartphone, since the phone would essentially be the only key to their profiles and since proving their identity and changing their passwords without it would probably prove challenging. However, the SlickLogin concept would make it much more difficult for hackers to steal bulk loads of login information at once, in turn lessening the impact of cybercrime.