The Bluetooth Special Interest Group, or SIG, has signed a memorandum of understand (MOU) with the FIDO Alliance that will see Bluetooth Smart approved for U2F authentication. With this agreement, FIDO approves Bluetooth Smart technology as a U2F alternative to a USB dongle.
The agreement is meant to secure FIDO’s recognition of Bluetooth Smart technology’s U2F capabilities in its specifications, and given the prominence of FIDO specs in the overall authentication industry, the MOU has powerful implications for Bluetooth. Moreover, given the preponderance of Bluetooth Smart technologies – the company says there are over eight billion Bluetooth devices currently in use around the world – it should vastly enhance users’ access to certified U2F security. And given that Bluetooth expects over 10 billion Bluetooth-enabled devices to find their way into users’ hands over the next few years, the technology will have even greater reach. In a statement, Bluetooth SIG’s senior marketing director, Errett Kroeter, suggested that “partnering with FIDO Alliance through this MOU will help provide the industry with a simple, yet powerful alternative for multi-factor authentication that is available to practically everyone.”
The Bluetooth Smart platform combines secure wireless technology with low-power functionality, enabling a number of consumer devices to securely transmit data. Going forward, it could have important applications in the growing Internet of Things ecosystem, where a number of everyday devices will go online and thus require efficient power design and a means of securely transmitting data. As such, the FIDO MOU is a very timely development.