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Back in the day, a watch told time. Today, many of us use wearable devices to tell time, which also track the number of steps you take in a day, deliver the weather, display text messages and more. Wearables also play a key part in the authentication world -- delivering security advantages along with a convenient user experience. As technologies evolve to include biometrics, they can bridge the gap between 'authenticating a user' and the actual human being.
At the Cloud Identity Summit, we introduced the latest addition to our multi-factor authentication solution, PingID. One of the cooler additions to our product offering is an app for the Apple Watch. When your security policies dictate the need for strong authentication, the user will receive a notification on their watch. The user simply taps on the watch and they are authenticated.
Building the app for the watch was quite an adventure for our development team in Tel Aviv, Israel. While they were able to get the code written for the app before the watch was available, there were still many unknowns as to how it would work and what the user experience would be like. On top of that, the news stories about how much demand there was for the Apple Watch and possible shipping delays added to the adventure. Despite the potential challenges with working with something so new (and waiting for the FedEx truck to arrive) they were able to create an amazing user experience.
The PingID app on the Apple Watch supports both online and offline authentication. If their iPhone is of range, users can generate a one-time password (OTP) and sign-on with strong authentication. The app will be available in the app store shortly and will support iOS 8.2 and above, on the iPhone 5 and 6.