In the not-too-distant future, consumers may no longer need to
view Google's (NASDAQ:
password support page
, which explains the various ways that users can adjust their
login settings. Instead of entering their cell phone number or
another e-mail address to recover forgotten passwords (or to
change the password after being hacked), users may simply be able
to stick a small ring-sized dongle into their USB slot and
instantly log into Google. This concept (which the company
in a new research paper) may not sound like the best way to
replace the existing password system. Dongles were once employed
for the purpose of preventing piracy. When employed by Avid
) and other firms, users were forced to insert a dongle (and keep
it inserted) before software could be used on a particular
Few consumers supported this approach. If lost or stolen, the
dongle had to be replaced or the software would be useless.
Avid's official site
, "A lost or stolen dongle can be replaced for a fee based off
the original cost of the software license, therefore the cost
Most software makers have avoided using dongles for these and
other reasons. Now Google wants to mainstream the concept by
attaching passwords to them.
Long-term, the search engine giant hopes that a single
validated device (such as a smartphone) will work as a key to
validate computers and other devices, eliminating the need for a
dongle. This is a fresh take on the concept -- but it is still a
dongle at its core.
Passwords are far from perfect. However, it is unlikely that
this dongle system would be any better. While it may allow users
to one day log into a bank website without having to remember a
complex password, it could open the door for a host of other
What happens when a user's cell phone dies and needs a charge?
Will he or she be unable to log into a particular account until
the device is rejuvenated? What if a user loses his or her
smartphone? How quickly can a replacement device become a new
In those scenarios, Google would likely offer other options
for logging in -- a password system, if you will. Thus, the
dongle would serve no purpose outside of making life easier for
those who wish to employ their smartphones in this regard.
That alone could allow the firm to benefit from this
experiment. While innovation may have been what the company was
seeking, customer satisfaction should prove to be a decent
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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