Google purchases fifth Israeli company

Google this week purchased its fifth Israeli company, the small Israeli startup SlickLogin, whose technology reportedly verifies and authenticates user identity (when logging onto a website) by using high-frequency sounds.

The sound waves are inaudible to the human ear.

SlickLogin founders Or Zelig, Eran Galili and Ori Kabeli began developing their program in August 2013. In September, they presented it at TechCrunch Disrupt, a technology startup conference in San Francisco, and in December registered as an official company.

The three-man company — which has not yet registered a patent or recruited investors, and has no customers —joined Google’s global team operating out of Tel Aviv. SlickLogin confirmed the acquisition on its website but did not provide any financial details of the deal.

SlickLogin said in a statement that Mountain View–based Google “shares our core beliefs that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way.”

SlickLogin’s founders say their technology could be used to replace usernames and passwords. For example, if you logged into your bank’s website, rather than being prompted for a username and password, SlickLogin would play an ultrasonic sound through your computer’s speakers, which your smartphone’s microphone would detect; SlickLogin and a smartphone app work together to confirm your identity.

“Google was the first company to offer two-step verification to everyone, for free,” SlickLogin noted in a statement, “and they’re working on some great ideas that will make the Internet safer for everyone.”

Google now has purchased five Israel-based companies in recent years, including the spreadsheet company iRows in 2006, entertainment company LabPixies in 2010, MentorWave Technology in 2010 (for its Quiksee 3D video upload product) and the mapping service Waze last year for $1.3 billion. According to Geektime, Google acquired SlickLogin for “several million” dollars. — & j. staff