Last year, Google revealed its password-killing Project Abacus, and the technology will soon go into testing.
(CCM) — According to new reports, this project will be available for Android developers by the end of 2016 and will be tested by several "very large financial institutions" this summer. "What we're going to do with this is be able to get rid of the awkwardness of second-factor authentication," explained Dan Kaufman, Head of Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) at Google, during last week's I/O developer conference. "We have a phone, and these phones have all these sensors in them. Why couldn't it just know who I was, so I don't need a password?"
With Project Abacus, users would unlock their devices or sign in to applications using biometrics, similar to its Smart Lock feature on devices running Android 5.0 and higher. With Smart Lock, users can automatically unlock their device when in a trusted location, connected to a trusted Bluetooth device, or when the device can ID their face or detect it is being carried. Project Abacus will run in the background of your device, collecting data about you to create a "Trust Score" based on your usage patterns, including speech and voice similarities, facial recognition, typing methods, and more. Essentially, this score determines how confident your device is that you are who you say you are. All of this factors into the Trust API, which can be integrated into apps to authenticate your identity without the need for a password or two-factor authentication. In June, several banks will begin their initial testing of the Trust API, and Google hopes to make it available to all Android developers by the end of the year. Project Abacus is already in testing with 33 universities.
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