Ford Just Made Such A Great Password Manager For Your Mac, It’s Incredible Apple Didn’t Come Up With It First

If you were asked to name a company who would finally solve all of your password woes, who would it be? Apple? Google? 1Password? Lastpass?

Good guesses, but no. The company who’s going to end all of your password juggling problems is Detroit carmaker Ford. And they’re going to do it with an iOS app and a Chrome extension that means that just sitting down in front of your Mac with your iPhone in your pocket will be enough to unlock all of your accounts and profiles on the web, instantaneously.

When you think about it, the fact that this app is coming out of Ford makes a lot of sense. For years, they’ve been putting little NFC chips in their key chains, which allow you to unlock your car doors just by walking up to them.

The Ford KeyFree is a system that works similarly, just with your Mac and iPhone, no NFC required. You install an app on your iPhone and an extension into Chrome, and as long as you have Bluetooth on, just sitting down in front of your Mac is enough to “unlock” all of your sites automatically. And it’s pretty secure, because Bluetooth already uses all sorts of unique identifiers that can do double-duty as an ID.

As Fast Co. Design’s Mark Wilson explains, “In an actual use case scenario, this means you can sit down to your computer, and without hitting any buttons at all, log in to your social networks. It’s freaking magic.”

Magic indeed. I can’t wait for this app to hit the States. Unfortunately, right now, it’s only available in France. Go figure, but apparently, an international version is coming soon.

Why hasn’t Apple built this functionality right into Safari?

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  • mr_bee

    Bluetooth is one of the least secure protocols out there. This would be tantamount to broadcasting your password on the local AM radio.

  • Jdsonice

    I don’t know about this – I think it is a bad idea. Imagine you loose your iPhone and ….. that would be a nightmare.

    I know we can wipe it clean blah blah but still too dangerous.

  • Luis Garza

    Actually, this is old technology…linux has been doing it for a long long time…http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=702372 would be a decent how to.

    And there’s also a Mac attempt at this, but my experience 2 years ago was not as smooth as with linux, so I stopped trying…maybe it’s gotten better?

    http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20091221173111783 that’s one of the many howtos out there for this on Mac.

  • Conor Conay Jackson

    Bluetooth is one of the least secure protocols out there. This would be tantamount to broadcasting your password on the local AM radio.

    Bluetooth 4.0, however…

  • al friede

    this is nothing new, and trusting ford is a huge no! no! the ford foundation is one of the most dangerous international organizations in the world, so giving them all my passwords….NOT!!!

  • warrengonline

    Ha… Still doesn’t top my idea that may never come out, but it is VERY close. But mine does not use your phone that could easily be stolen nor does it use Bluetooth or wifi – that is my issue. Nice, but ehh…

    And mine was not just for ‘access’, it was for MORE things like purchasing and personalize marketing. You know how when you go into a restaurant you normally visit and the employees know EXACTLY what you want, but will usually say “So, the usual or how are you feeling today?” imagine that experience in a clothing, electronics, bookstore (if you still buy physical copies) or shop..

  • QuiteKidder

    Hitting two keys logs me into any website with 1Password. How much easier can you get?

  • RJENK

    I agree with the commenter who mentioned Bluetooth 4. And by the way, where the heck are all the Bluetooth 4 devices? Even Ten One’s BT4 “Blue Tiger” iPad stylus is still vaporware. I have an iPad 3 with BT4 and no BT4 devices to use with it! With the extremely low power and security benefits, you would think they would have far more devices out than now. Right now we have nothing!

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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