Hushmesh has announced that it will be demonstrating its new password-free authentication solution for guests at CES 2020. Dubbed the Trustee, the new IoT device is designed to be a comprehensive platform that allows users to gain access to any participating service through a simple procedure on their smartphone. The Trustee offers automated end-to-end cryptography, and is built using Microsoft’s Azure Sphere IoT platform.
To use the Trustee, consumers must first connect it to their home Wi-Fi network, and then link their smartphone to their device. After that, they can use their phone to scan a QR code – also known as a “meshtag” – from a member of the Hushmesh network, and the Trustee will go ahead and establish a secure connection.
“Instead of prompting you for a username and password, a participating service will show you a ‘meshtag,’” explained Hushmesh Founder and CEO Manu Fontaine. “You snap it with your phone, your phone sends it to your Trustee at home, and your Trustee does the rest. Think of it as a universal login with cryptographic trust and data security built in.”
Though the Trustee itself is located in the user’s home, the technology can operate from anywhere in the world, as long as there is a QR display. That means that the potential applications of the platform are virtually limitless. Consumers could use it to authorize a purchase at a retail outlet, or check into a hotel. It can also be used with a home computer to sign in to online services.
The goal is to streamline the authentication process for consumers, allowing them to use the same exact procedure to log into any service without needing to remember a single username or password. The Trustee only involves a single step, and therefore adds less friction than some biometrics and other forms of multi-factor authentication.
According to Hushmesh, the Trustee helps guard against social engineering fraud because enrollment takes place in the user’s home and is tied to a physical device. Users can also use the Trustee to revoke the permissions of a phone that has been lost or stolen.
Hushmesh is a Public Benefit Corporation, and went on to explain that all Trustees will be part of a decentralized network known as the Mesh. The Mesh supports standards like SAML and OpenID Connect, so interested organizations can recognize the Mesh as an identity provider to add Trustee functionality to their existing services.
The Trustee itself will be manufactured by Changhong, which will be showcasing the device at booth #11439 in the Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center throughout CES 2020. Hushmesh is planning to carry out pilots with several partners in the first half of 2020, before moving forward with a commercial launch later in the year.