Interactive Authentication Methods Get Rid of Annoying Passwords

I hate passwords. To rephrase, I hate remembering passwords. I have often believed that trying to recollect passwords has a lot to do with hair fall. Either naturally or you end up pulling your hair out since you can’t recollect the damn password. Some websites want you to have a 8 character password that’s not your first name or should have a special character . While some websites won’t allow you to enter a special character. The rules make it frustrating to remember passwords. I hate passwords.

OEMs started using finger print scanners for authentication but the accuracy is enough to make you want to chop your finger and tape it to the scanner. Or disable the password—not recommended though. Mobile phones can’t have finger print scanners and until recently, 4 digit number combinations are the standard security feature. These touch devices, however, are capable of more. In Android, Google introduced a feature called Patterns. Instead of entering number combinations, you draw a pattern on the screen to unlock the device. I have tried on my friend’s phone and find it quite intuitive. However, fellow Techie Buzz writer, Rajesh Pandey points out that figuring out a Pattern password is very easy. The finger smudges on the screen after repeatedly drawing the pattern makes it convenient to figure out the combination. Screenshot courtesy Keith Dsouza:

In Android ICS, Google has introduced facial recognition. Another interesting security implementation that uses the front facing camera to unlock the phone. I haven’t tried how consistent the feature under the varying lighting conditions but Google’s demo at the Android ICS event failed. Having said that, Xbox Kinect uses Kinect ID to recognize you and log you into the system. Convenient and secure enough. Screenshot courtesy Google:

In Windows 8, Microsoft showed something similar to Patterns. Called Picture Passwords, users can log into the system by touching specific points on the lock screen image. These points are set by the user and are way more convenient and intuitive compared to entering passwords on the tablet. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next major release of Windows Phone introduced picture passwords, in fact it should. Screenshot courtesy me:

While security continues to be a threat as seen by the recent troubles Sony faced, there need to be more intuitive ways to authorize users. Google and Microsoft seems to be working on them with some practical solutions.

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Manan Kakkar

Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.