Google engineers are experimenting with new ways to replace user passwords, including a tiny YubiKey cryptographic card that would automatically log people into Gmail, according to a report published Friday.
In the future, engineers at the search giant hope to find even easier ways for people to log in not just to Google properties, but to sites across the Web. They envision a single smartphone or smartcard device that would act like a house or car key, allowing people access to all the services they consume online. They see people authenticating with a single device and then using it everywhere.
"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," Google Vice President of Security Eric Grosse and Engineer Mayank Upadhyay wrote in an article to be published in the engineering journal IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine, according to Wired.