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Following the incredibly futuristic announcements of Project Soli, Vault and Jacquard, Google’s ATAP team had yet another crazy announcement at its presentation earlier today at Google I/O. This next endeavor goes by the name of Project Abacus, and it aims to eliminate passwords for good by looking at the way you type, walk, talk and a variety of other signals. By confirming that you are in fact the one holding your smartphone or sitting at your computer by means of the aforementioned signals, Project Abacus would like to get rid of passwords altogether, and use the data collected about you as sufficient verification.

During the presentation earlier today, head of ATAP Regina Dugan explained that previously, research completed by academic institutions had a difficult time creating a system that was as secure as even a four-digit PIN code. So, Google partnered with multiple universities, along with 25 experts from separate institutions to take part in a 90-day research period in hopes to improve these numbers. With the help of 1,500 participants overall, Google has improved the system so much that it’s now apparently 10x more secure than fingerprint systems.

The whole system is based on a trust score, of which the highest scores are needed to access something like a mobile banking application, and the lowest scores would still get you access to a game. If the phone falls into the wrong hands, though, the device should be able to recognize that it’s not you, and ask for the users password, just like it currently does.

ATAP has certainly made huge improvements in this security field, but unfortunately it might be awhile until we see this tech make its way to the real world.

Jimmy Westenberg
Lover of all things Android, Star Wars, dogs, coffee, and music.