Google has acquired SlickLogin, a small Israeli security startup that develops a unique, sound-based system for identity verification at websites. The "acqui-hiring deal", which means that the company's staff and knowledge will be integrated into the search giant, was confirmed in an announcement posted to the SlickLogin's website.
Put in simple words, the idea behind the startup is: In order to authenticate a user's identity and log them in, a SlickLogin-enabled site would play an almost inaudible tone. An app running on your smartphone, which you'd hold up to your computer's speaker, would analyze the tone and signal back your credentials to the website's server.
The technology can be used either as an alternative to traditional passwords or in Google's two-factor authentication system, which currently involves entering in a unique code from your phone.
Founded less than a year ago, the company has not yet released a commercial product. It launched into closed beta at the TechCrunch Disrupt in September last year. Although the terms of the deal were not officially disclosed, according to Geektime, which first reported it, the deal is said to be valued at "several million".