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Wearable Tech and the Password
Wearable Tech World Feature Article
March 26, 2015
Wearable Tech and the Password

As a self-proclaimed geek and early adopter, the idea of wearable tech has always fascinated me.

I first purchased a smartwatch three years ago, just before the Pebble was made available in the U.K. It was the Metawatch Stealth, a sporty looking watch that would notify me of Gmail, SMS, incoming calls, missed calls, the weather and sports. The battery lasted under a week, and the whole device would freeze up completely now and then. However, anyone who spotted the watch would ask me about it and loved the concept.

Now that we are into 2015, things have really moved on, and almost every technology company is producing some kind of Smartwatch. I’m currently wearing a Garmin Vivosmart, which fully integrates with the Garmin fitness ecosystem, Garmin Connect.

At CES (News - Alert) 2015 Garmin announced the VivoActive, a GPS-enabled device that will track running, cycling, swimming and golf and, of course, it still connects to my mobile via Bluetooth, for notifications. There is also a new breed of fashion smartwatches with Montblanc introducing the e-Strap, a module that sits in place of the clasp of the company’s exclusive watches. HP also has teamed up with Michael Bastin and introduced the Chronowing smartwatch, which I’m sure will look handsome on any gentleman's wrist. It will be interesting to see what Apple (News - Alert) finally releases.

So, the smart watch is here to stay. But does it really need to be a dumb device that simply relays messages from your phone?

I think not.

Take a look at the latest Android (News - Alert) release from Google: Lollipop. Hidden in the security menu is an option for “Smart Lock”. When you pair any Bluetooth device, the Smart Lock wizard is activated and you are asked if the phone should be unlocked while the new device is connected—ideal for the smartwatch.

So now, when my phone is with me and I’m wearing my Vivosmart, the phone is unlocked. Walk away from my phone, and it locks.

Google (News - Alert) have also extended this functionality to the Chrome Book. So, again, if you are wearing your smartwatch, your Chrome Book can be in an unlocked state and ready to go.

This is all fairly limited, but the possibilities are huge. Take a look at Google's Security Key, or an RSA (News - Alert) key fob.

Will the smartwatch eventually replace these two-factor devices? It’s not there yet, but as someone who provides advice and technology to secure digital identities my inner geek is itching in anticipation.

About the Author: Robert Doswell is managing director of Tools4ever UK, a supplier of identity and access management solutions.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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