An unlikely player has decided to show it’s very own take on password managing software. Ford — yes, the car company — revealed a new Chrome extension called Ford Keyfree that works in conjunction with a smartphone app and automatically logs you in or out from sites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
The app follows the same premise behind NFC key fobs like the ones many auto makers have been using for a while — when you're close to your car it unlocks, and when you move away it locks right back, all without fiddling with keys or buttons. Using the Bluetooth connection on your iPhone, Ford Keyfree enables the same on the desktop by communicating with the Chrome browser extension whenever you are close, and automatically logging you in to websites. Walk away and the extension logs you out from any open site.
Of course, there are many potential downfalls to this approach, just as there are many unanswered questions, such as where are the passwords stored or how does it manages multiple smartphones in the same area.
Also, password managers like PassPack, RoboForm, LastPass and several others already handle logins with ease across platforms and little to no friction. If anything it’s a fresh take on how to manage the ever-growing list of web services we use on a daily basis and we’re curious to see where it goes.
The app is currently available only in France (although the app's website shows a "Page under construction" message right now) and requires an iPhone as well as Chrome running on a Mac. There’s no word on international availability at this point or if it’s being ported to other platforms.