Google Buys Sound Wave Authentication Firm SlickLogin

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Google acquires login tech that uses sound waves and smartphones to detect users

Google has acquired an Israeli security firm that allows website logins by just placing a phone near a computer.

SlickLogin, which only launched five months ago at TechCrunch Disrupt, uses sound waves to carry out authentication. When visiting a website, a SlickLogin user would have a high-frequency sound sent to their device, which would analyse the waves and confirm the phone owner was present.

Google SlickLogin

google-london-office“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,” a message on the SlickLogin website read.

“Google was the first company to offer two-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.”

The SlickLogin team consists of ex-members of the Israel Defence Force, which has one of the most advanced digital security arms in the world. Tel Aviv, where the firm hails from, also has one of the most vibrant security industries on the planet.

CEO Or Zelig led the IDF team that developed “the next-generation of military data security devices”, according to the company’s website.

Google has been increasingly interested in novel authentication methods, having been one of the major forces pushing two-factor logins.

A patent application from last year indicated the firm was planning on facial expression authentication, whilst it has previously toyed with wacky ideas like electronic tattoos and pills that could be swallowed to send login messages to machines.

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