With the introduction of Touch ID on the iPhone 5S, Apple has managed to deliver a seamless fingerprint authentication technology that eclipses many of the clunky attempts seen in previous consumer devices. But others in the industry aren't sitting still. The FIDO Alliance — a stable of 48 companies looking to develop a successor to the notoriously insecure password — says it expects to see similar fingerprint-based security in Android devices within six months or so. Speaking to USA Today, the group's president Michael Barrett said, "The intention of FIDO is absolutely that it will allow consumers to have access to mobile services that they can use with very low friction, while keeping good security."
But the FIDO Alliance's plans extend far beyond biometrics (and Android for that matter). The goal after all is to develop a ubiquitous and open standard that offers a wide variety of authentication methods for maximum convenience. Powerful partners like Google have signed on to help push the cause, but we've yet to see any execution on FIDO's vision. Barrett insists that's coming, claiming consumers can expect the first wave of FIDO-equipped Android devices in early 2014. He's even hopeful that Apple eventually may join the FIDO Alliance itself. "Our view is that it's possible Apple might choose to start using FIDO, but that's probably a couple of years out."