Imagine a world where your phones know if you are who you say you are. This is exactly what Google had unveiled last year at its I/O in the for of Project Abacus under the company’s research unit ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects). The company said on Friday that it might just start rolling out the system to Android developers by year-end.
According to the web giant, Project Abacus was in trials with 33 universities across 28 states last year. Apparently, the service has now been approved for real world testing. Google’s Daniel Kaufman said during the announcement “several very large financial institutions” will begin their initial testing of the Trust API (the idea implemented by Google’s search and machine intelligence groups) next week.
The primary aim of Project Abacus is to make your device take away the burden of passwords and PINs for authentication. Secure logins, nowadays, have become a sort of a chore for users. You not only have to remember a username and a multi-mnemonic password, but also need to have your device in possession to enter a short PIN that is sent via SMS or email by the service.
To counter this, Google had announced last year that under Project Abacus, it is developing a system which uses sensors on your phone to monitor your typing patterns, current location, speed and voice patterns, facial recognition and a lot more and determine whether or not you are the owner of the phone. The service runs continually in the background and keeps collecting data in real-time. This data is then used to find, what Google calls, your Trust Score.
Using this score, the service determines whether or not you are an authenticated person and allows you to use the smartphone.
Unlike Smart Lock that Google introduced in Android 5.0 devices that automatically unlocks your device when you’re in a trusted location, have a trusted Bluetooth device connected, when you’re carrying your device or when the device recognizes your face.
The API will not only change the way people unlock their phones, it will revolutionise the smartphone industry.
The Trust Score will also determine how much access you have to the phone. Some apps may require a lower score, like games, and some may need a higher one, like your financial app, etc.
The initial test, as already stated, will begin starting June and if the testing goes as planned, worldwide developers will get to play with this new API.