Google has acquired SlickLogin, an Israeli startup which is bidding to replace passwords with sounds. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
Web sites using SlickLogin's technology send a unique, near-silent sound through the customer's computer speakers at the beginning of the login process. This is picked up by an app on the user's phone, which analyses it and sends back a signal confirming the identity.
The product is the brainchild of Or Zelig, Eran Galili and Ori Kabeli, who only began working on it last summer. The company was officially launched in December but has yet to commercially launch a product or sign up any customers.
However, the authentication business is hotting up as industries such as banking and commerce seek to find better ways than passwords of identifying customers online.
PIN pads and biometrics have both been pushed forward while Visa and MasterCard are pushing for the introduction of digital tokens - rather than account numbers - for online and mobile transactions.
In a brief statement on its site, the startup says: "Today we`re announcing that the SlickLogin team is joining Google, a company that shares our core beliefs that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way.
"Google was the first company to offer 2-step verification to everyone, for free - and they're working on some great ideas that will make the internet safer for everyone."