New Wireless Access Token

Scientific American: Wearable Device Could Secure Laptop Computer Files

Now this device could be useful, at least for casual levels of security. No passwords, or smart cards, or other hardware tokens to plug in to a connector that’s never in the right place. Simply a wireless authentication token that you wear (eg. in a watch, or a ring, or on a necklace). When you are in range of your laptop, it is unlocked; if you leave, the laptop locks itself.

This would be even better integrated with other security systems, such as building access, car control, etc.; although like every other technology, you’d probably end up with a necklace full of pendants, or rings on every finger :-)

Combining it with technology that autoconfigures your environment would make this a killer-app, I think. You could sit down at any computer and it would automatically identify you, load your profile, and give you access to your e-mail and current desktop, change your keybindings, and all that useful personalisation stuff. Or it could automatically adjust the seat and mirror settings in your car when you sit down in the driver’s seat…

There are the usual problems with one-factor security, of course; if someone steals the tokens from you, they are you. For any environment requiring more than “casual” security, I’d want to see a password or passphrase that either unlocks the wireless token, or is used in addition to it.

Still, this is something I’ll play with when it is commercially available.

posted at 10:47 am on Friday, August 23, 2002 in General | Comments Off on New Wireless Access Token

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