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Google is Trying to Replace Passwords With a Ring on Your Finger

by Brandon Russell | January 18, 2013January 18, 2013 4:30 pm PDT


The future of Internet passwords might be a ring you wear on your finger. It sounds wild,  but that’s how Google wants to replace the long complicated strings of numbers, letters and symbols you can’t remember. You may never have to request a new password again—that’s my dream for all.

According to Wired, Google’s President of Security Eric Grosse and Engineer Mayank Upadhyay will pitch their password alternatives in IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine later this month. Some possible scenarios may include a cryptographic card through a USB port, or the possibility of authentication from a ring on your finger. It sounds much less annoying than remembering an actual word or phrase, but will it be more convenient?

Google has already made the USB aspect work by modifying Chrome and using a YubiKey. The good part, though, is that no extra software is needed—simply plug the card into your port and it’ll log you into Google. The idea is to have one authentication method for everything, like a master key. 

“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,” a Google employee explained

Grosse says Google’s ideas won’t exterminate password altogether—some sort of PIN backup will be needed—but it’s certainly a start. If something like this does come to pass, other websites will need to support the login technique for more wide scale acceptance.

It all sounds preliminary for now, in the idea stages, but I like where this is going. In the meantime, we recommend checking out 1Password.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...