FIDO Gets Ready For CES, Fingerprint Cards Nets a Design Win and Discover Joins the Strong Authentication Fight – Mobile ID World Industry News Roundup: Dec 16-20

The FIDO Alliance is ending the year with an explosion of encouraging news for those hoping for strong and convenient password alternatives sooner rather than later. At the beginning of the week, the Alliance announced that it had a new relying party on its board of directors, and a big one at that: Discover Financial Services.

Discover is an important addition to FIDO, whose push for open specifications for universal strong authentication requires participation from all ends of a possible transaction. Filling the role of a relying party (RP), Discover doesn’t only help validate FIDO’s assertion that RPs have a stake in reducing fraud, but also opens up possibilities of collaboration with other Alliance members in the area of mCommerce.

Collaboration is at the heart of FIDO, and nothing quite illustrates this like the announcement of what we will be seeing from them at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014). On Friday the Alliance released a list of FIDO Ready solutions that will be presented at the January convention. Each one a collaboration between members of the consortium, these solutions each adhere to the standards set forth in the newly minted FIDO Ready Certification Program.

It seems surprising that an organization formed in February of this year can be making such a splash in the identification industry. Part of what we are seeing happen with FIDO has to do with convenient timing, the demand for password-relief is hitting major highs this year as are strong authentication payment alternatives. This week I took a look at the latter: running down three popular digital wallet devices expected to hit shelves in 2014, highlighting the balance that needs to be struck between convenience and security in order for these solutions to stand a chance in the war for your transactions.

Exploring the FIDO Alliance’s philosophy and success a little further, however, Mobile ID World president Peter O’Neill spoke with Phillip Dunkelberger, president and CEO of Nok Nok Labs, and got some insight into the founding of Nok Nok and the Alliance. The interview touches on history like that, as well as the BYOD phenomenon and the drivers of strong authentication adoption.

Finally, Fingerprint Cards AB, who recently collaborated with Nok Nok Labs in a FIDO supporting initiative, announced that it’s new FPC1020 touch sensor received its first major design win. Chosen for integration by an anonymous major global OEM, the FPC1020, optimized for Windows and Android devices, is now slated to launch on a Tire One smartphone in Summer 2014.

With so much FIDO related news, anyone new to the idea of the post-password paradigm ought to take a look at the recent Mobile ID World webinar The Password is Dead! presented by FIDO president Michael Barrett and senior director of business development of Nok Nok Labs, Lamie Cowper.