Google acquires SlickLogin, tries for game changer on login

From the SlickLogin site:

We started SlickLogin because security measures had become overly complicated and annoying.

Our friends thought we were insane, but we knew we could do better. So we set out to improve security while still making it simple for people to log in.

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.

From the linked article:

The idea behind SlickLogin was, at the very least, quite novel: to verify a user’s identity and log them in, a website would play a uniquely generated, nearly-silent sound through your computer’s speakers. An app running on your phone would pick up the sound, analyze it, and send the signal back to the site’s server confirming that you are who you say you are — or, at least, someone who has that person’s phone.

I think this is an interesting idea, but I struggle with the details. If Apple does not change their mechanics (and why would they?), a user would have to take their phone out of their pocket, fire it up, and take some action to get the phone to listen to the sound played by the web site. That sounds like a non-starter to me.

And if Google goes it alone, building SlickLogin support into the OS, they’ll still have a hard sell getting web sites to adopt a system that is unavailable to half the phones in the world.

Still, this technology is compelling. It’ll be interesting to see Google’s next move here.