Yesterday in the Launch Pad portion of the keynote the startup Vidoop made their pitch for why they have a better way to deal with password … don’t have them! Okay this isn’t entirely accurate, but really what is going on here is that we all have a ton of different passwords. Heck we also have a ton of different user ids as well. So Vidoop is part of the larger OpenID movement, which really hadn’t hit my radar until this conference. Okay I knew about it, but hadn’t really done anything to learn more about it.
Regardless, the premise is, if you don’t already know, is that your ID becomes a URL and that is tied to your information and that is passed onto participating sites as you login credentials. WordPress.com and Netscape.com both support it, Digg is supposed to but I didn’t see it when I just went there. Okay, yeah so now I have a freakn’ URL to remember and a password! How is this better? Well it’s supposed to (eventually) give you only one thing to remember. Where does Vidoop fit in then? Well they are taking the concept and process to another level, they are taking passwords out of the picture.
Here’s how it works. You sign up with them (they are in private beta now, but the president of Vidoop, Luke Sontag said you can request a code to get in), and after picking your ID you don’t set a password, you pick categories for a grid of pictures. Like planes, trains, and automobiles … you pick a picture of a plane, a train, and a car … you got it.
Here’s the cool park, when you need to enter your password you see this grid of pictures with a letter on each one. You type in the letter that’s on the pictures of your categories. The best part … next time all the letters are different! Your password can’t be sniffed, because if the hack tries it he only has these three letters … but he doesn’t know what your categories are. So, sure enter those letters, doesn’t matter chances that they match up is slim to none. Oh and if you think someone has guess your categories, you can lock your account down and change the categories … heck even then that would be tough because each computer that you use has to be authenticated to be able to even try to login!
Yes, this is revolutionary. Business model is interesting. They allow companies to “sponsor” the pictures (right now SmartCar has the cars and a pizza chain has food). and then they sell their solution to companies as well (license really).
I over heard Luke talking a about maybe a VPN solution for later this year … ooh maybe a free VPN for when you’re using free WiFi maybe? Man I’d be there!
Of course Vidoop’s challenge is going to be uptake. More sites need to sign onto OpenID (I’d love a WP plugin for my blogs … it would save me so many headaches) to be effective.
Frankly … this is an amazing solution and I’m looking forward to trying it more.