Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is planning to put an end to passwords on Google Android in the near future.
The company is working on technology that can factor in various signals such as location, walking and typing patterns among others to create a system that can identify the user. The project was first announced as Project Abacus during the latest Google I/O event which took place last week. Google’s head of Advanced Technology and Projects research unit (ATAP) Daniel Kaufman revealed more details about the project during the event.
Project Abacus is the next user authentication feature
The project will acquire data such as the time and location where specific apps are used. It will even take facial features and user’s voice into account to generate a trust score which can then be used to determine if the person using the handset is the owner or not. Apps used to carry out monetary transactions will obviously require a very high trust score.
If the technology is a success, it will phase out regular security measures such as passwords which are considered annoying by most people. The Trust API was created by engineers at the company’s search and machine intelligence division. Project Abacus is however not new. It made its debut in the 2015 Google I/O with the aim of advancing past the pin and password age. The company is already using some of the technology such as in the case of “Smart Lock” which automatically unlocks the user’s device when in a secure location. The feature is available for devices running Android 5.0 or higher.
There is also Smart Lock for passwords which saves passwords for apps and websites and remembers them automatically the next time the user visits the same website or app. Project Abacus uses a different approach. It runs in the background to collect information used to develop the trust score. If the score generated is insufficient, it goes back to the passwords.