Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Google acquired SlickLogin.

At times when Smartphones have become the parliamentary law of the day, here is some other technology that seamlessly integrates Smartphones in our web experiences. SlickLogin, an Israeli start-up, presented their ‘slick’ idea of sound-based system for logging into websites at the Tech Crunch Disrupt conference in September last year. The three founders, Or Zelig, Eran Galili and Ori Kabeli, started the company officially only in December, 2013 and were taken (acquired) by Google in February, 2014. Trade pundits are calling this as aqui-hire wherein the Israeli team consisting of only its founders moved to Google’s office in Israel along with their product after the acquisition was completed.
SlickLogin’s technology can be applied as the secondary verification layer in a two-factor authentication process or can completely replace passwords, depending on the discreetness of the website using the applied science. All it involves is an addition of a few communication channels of code in the already existing codes to accommodate this characteristic. As a user, if you belong to any SlickLogin enabled website you want to log in to, you would just need to tap the login button and hold your Smartphone close to the data processor. The computer will send a high-frequency (inaudible to the human ear) sound signal, which is a uniquely generated key for that particular transaction, to your Smartphone. On finding the signal, your phone will respond with your account confirmation details and voila, you have been logged in to the site.
Built up by graduates of the Israel Defense Force's cyber security unit, this technology offers highly dependable, seamless, sophisticated and cost-effective option to traditional passwords and SMS or token generated secondary verification. Since the key (encoded in the sound signal) is generated uniquely every time it cannot be recorded and played once more for subsequent logins. Besides, if someone tries to tap this signal using their phone, in an attempt to login to your account before you do, they would end up giving you access to their account history instead of having yours. SlickLogin makes use of either mobile data, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, or WI-fi for the handshake. Presently the technology requires internet, but the founders have applied for a patent for the non-internet based handshake technology. The only major worry with this engineering science is its complete dependence on the gimmick which makes login impossible if you have run out of your mobile battery or if the phone is stolen.
The message on the SlickLogin website announcing this acquisition read as follows:

Other Israeli acquisitions made by Google since 2010 are LabPixies, Quiksee and Waze.