Google is experimenting with smartphone-based authentication to log into Google accounts on high risk public computers.

Designed to prevent unscrupulous types with keylogging software getting hold of your passwords in internet cafes and on other shared computers, the system uses onscreen QR codes which are scanned by a smartphone to log in.

Open sesame

Google has codenamed the feature "Sesame", which we imagine is more to do with Ali Baba and less to do with Big Bird and pals.

Users who navigate to a special login page, then scan an onscreen QR code with their phone will find they are then simultaneously logged in on the computer as well.

It's a variaton of Google's two-step verification scheme which uses a numerical verification code sent to your mobile in addition to the usual password.

After a brief trial, Sesame has been pulled for now, but Google's Dirk Balfanz has posted:"We always work on improving authentication, and try out different things every now and then. We're working on something that I believe is even better, and when that's ready for a public trial we'll let you know."

We'll keep our eyes peeled.

via ZDNet