With the iPhone 5S, much of the Android world openly marvelled at the biometric sensor craftily surrounding the lone hardware button. Called Touch ID, the newest innovation in biometric sensor technology has the mobile world buzzing. In spite of crafty hacks and workarounds, the utility for biometrics remains solid, and we wonder when it’s coming to Android.
If FIDO (Fast Identity Online), an alliance of 48 tech companies headed by the likes of Lenovo and PayPal, six months seems like a fair timeframe. According to FIDO president Michael Barrett, Android devices using the FIDO standard will start appearing in early 2014. This standard, which FIDO intends to make available soon, is intended to be usable by anyone.
“The intention of FIDO is absolutely that it will allow consumers to have access to mobile services that they can use with very low friction, while keeping good security” says Barrett. The goal is to have one standard to rule them all, available on any device or platform, even iOS. Barrett went on say “Our view is that it's possible Apple might choose to start using FIDO, but that's probably a couple of years out.”
The problem? It probably has to be licensed, and run through a third party. FIDO is currently working with Nok Nok Labs in developing servers to “facilitate FIDO services”, and likens themselves to the WiFi standard. Currently, most authentication runs through Android device software. Be it password, pattern, or face unlock; it’s all baked into the system hardware. Although FIDO wishes to work with third party providers, do you really want to give a PayPal app your fingerprint?
SOURCE: USA Today