Arab-American inventor looks to tackle the ‘password problem’

March 12, 2013 4:33 pm

Between multiple email accounts, social media applications and online banking, we all maintain a plethora of ultra-discrete web keys. While technological advancements bring us great levels of comfort and convenience, the oldschool password has remained lodged within our grey cells.

More security savvy web services may have specified the use of special characters, or even added extra layers of password protection, but arguably no website is safe from a well-skilled hacker with enough time on his hands.

Scores of entrepreneurs have sought to tackle to this problem, typically with tricky cross-questioning techniques to avoid social engineering.

However, help may come in the shape of a USB memory stick – with added biometric technology. The founder of US-based Arkami was in Dubai today to unveil its voice activated, fingerprint-secure Bluetooth USB drive to the Middle East market. The device has an OLED screen that securely displays logins, passwords and ID information.

myIDkey, which scored three Innovation Awards at this year’s CES, auto-fills passwords across all frequently used websites on all personal computers and smart mobile devices. Using iPhone and Android devices, myIDkey can manage and edit passwords and encrypt select files to protect with the user’s unique fingerprint.

The device may not be on Middle East shelves until Q1, company founder Tareq Risheq told AMEinfo, although the team were touring the region to boost crowd-sourced investment via their (thus far) successful campaign on Kickstarter – a funding platform for creative projects.

“myIDkey was developed in response to the universal challenge of remembering passwords,” explained Risheq. “This is particularly important in the Middle East, where aggressive public and private sector technology investments are driving adoption of integrated digital services such as e-Government platforms, which are now widely adopted across the region.”

Arkami, which is Arabic for ‘my numbers’, pitched their idea on Kickstarter with an initial goal of $150,000, which was met within 24 hours. They have since upped their goals and the target figure now stands at $400,000.

When asked why an inbuilt smarphone solution, such as an app, or NFC (near field communication) solution, Risheq argued that this is not nearly secure enough. Biometric security remains the toughest to bypass.

While true, the USB drive is yet another device to carry in our crowded pockets. While it’s been popular on Kickstarter, it remains to be seen whether these investors will adopt to the myIDkey for daily usage.