Smartwatch "killer app": two-factor authentication?

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  1. #1
    Member BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Smartwatch "killer app": two-factor authentication?

    The one killer app that could make us all want a smartwatch | ZDNet

    The whole smartwatch "thing" doesn't do it for me. I have no desire to get one and no inclination to wear one.

    Which, oddly enough, brings me back to authentication. A few months ago, I did a CBS Interactive webcast, "Mobile devices, wearables, and the future of identity" with Jonathan Bensen of Centrify (a company that specializes in identity management software).

    In the webcast, Jonathan gave a demo of a second factor authentication app running on a smartwatch. I've embedded a video of that demo below, but the key idea is that instead of typing in a code, the authentication service sends you a message, it shows up on your watch, and you just tap it to get into whatever you're trying to log into.

    Here. Watch it. It's only 47 seconds long. Then I'll come back to why this kind of thing could make even me want to run out and not only buy, but wear a smartwatch.
    Why does this matter? Well, what is two-factor authentication?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_...authentication

    In a nutshell, it's when you use two pieces of information to prove your identity. The example given on the Wikipedia page is using a debit card and a PIN at a bank ATM.

    I have to be honest, I haven't set up any of my online accounts to use this kind of authentication. I probably should if for no other reason than to see what it's like to use regularly.

  2. #2
    Moderator German Watches Forum
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    Re: Smartwatch "killer app": two-factor authentication?

    That's interesting, but I am missing a piece of the puzzle.

    How does tapping the smart watch transfer the code to the identification
    or login device? Why does it need a tap to transfer the code? Is there
    a reason the pocket phone would not be able to perform the same function?


    Thanks,
    rationaltime

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    Re: Smartwatch "killer app": two-factor authentication?

    I have this type of authentication.. I just read it as a text message on my phone! Then punch it into my computer. I suppose the watch may make it marginally easier.. Or I could put my phone next to my laptop..

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  5. #4
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    Re: Smartwatch "killer app": two-factor authentication?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrisdog View Post
    I have this type of authentication.. I just read it as a text message on my phone! Then punch it into my computer. I suppose the watch may make it marginally easier.. Or I could put my phone next to my laptop..
    The author of the linked article complains that because he must so frequently
    read and transcribe the second factor verification code the task has become
    a burden.

    If you put your phone next to your laptop does the code automatically transfer
    to the laptop? Can you try it for us? If that works I wonder why it wouldn't
    work just as well if you keep the phone in your pocket.


    Thanks,
    rationaltime

  6. #5
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    Re: Smartwatch "killer app": two-factor authentication?

    This makes total sense. As a side effect, you'll want to wear your smartwatch all the time then.

  7. #6
    Member BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Re: Smartwatch "killer app": two-factor authentication?

    BUMP! ;)

    Going through my old threads and seeing that nearly three years have passed since I posted this one -- and that's a looooong time in the tech world...

    So, since then, there's been bespoke apps that use two-factor authentication (or "2fa"), and at least for Mac users, 2fa has become the standard procedure for account access (such as, when I initiate a login into my iCloud account on another computer, it sends a message to my phone and gives me a six-digit passcode to type into the computer). And since the release of Apple's watchOS 3 and newer Mac computers, merely wearing the watch as you sit down at your computer unlocks it.

    But has this really been the "killer app"? I'm not so sure.

    What I now believe is the smartwatch's "killer app" isn't an app at all, nor is it even electronic in nature. It's the chameleon-like nature of the best-selling smartwatches and their ability to adapt to the owner's fashion sense. And that's more than just custom watch faces, too, because the straps count a lot towards both visual flair and comfort.

    The smartwatches that sit on the fringes don't enjoy much of a secondary accessory market. They weren't designed from the get-go to easily change straps, so the owners don't bother trying. The best-selling ones, though, can be used with regular straps and bracelets, whether it's a $10 silicone thing from .........s or a custom steel multi-link bracelet.

    SO WHAT? Is this just for fashionistas?

    So the best way to get all the benefits of a smartwatch is to wear it as often as possible, whether you just want to monitor your activity levels or you want to keep in touch at all times with your family and coworkers. And the best way to encourage an owner to wear it all the time is to make it versatile enough that they enjoy how it looks and feels.

    You want your smartwatch to be protected like a G-Shock? There's cases for that. How about making it sparkle with a fine steel mesh? Or genuine leather with hand-stitched designs? You can get those, too. It's nearly a blank slate that you can change to fit your personality.

    In a nutshell, and IMO, the smartwatch's "killer app" is to make it as wearable, and as versatile, as a handful of good wristwatches. Because, after all, it's on your body all the time, and it truly is your "most personal device" (as Cook/Schiller/etc said when they revealed the AW).

  8. #7
    Member Black5's Avatar
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    Re: Smartwatch "killer app": two-factor authentication?

    I agree BarracksSi.
    Samsung Flow is native across a wide range of their mobile devices so I can use the NFC in my Samsung Gear S3 to log on to my phone and Windows and Android tablets, share content or use the phone to log on and enable WiFi tethering quickly and easily.

    Good for lazy people who can’t be bothered logging on to multiple devices each time they use them requiring authentication only on a single device.

    SamsungPay and banking apps and account access still require seperate additional identification however. (As they should).

    It can also take standard 22mm straps so are readily interchangeable with some I already have for my other watches and of course a wide variety of faces to change according to my mood and colour preference so I can have a new watch every day.

    (I wear it on my right wrist and it is often mistaken by others at first glance for a “normal” watch).

    Yes, I use it for notifications, alerts, sleep and fitness monitoring, (and occasional calls and short texts), but these are all second nature now and mostly available on basic fitness bands, but without these additional “features”, I probably would have tired of it by now or use something more unobtrusive.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar_917 View Post
    ^^ tells the truth on Internet forums
    So many watches, So little time...
    So many watches, so little time...


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