Archives for posts with tag: QR

A few years ago I was approached by someone with an intriguing question: would it be possible to restrict access to a website based on your current location? The person who asked me was busy with a project in a neighbourhood close to where I grew up. Part of it is a national monument. The neighbourhood association wanted to revive the history of the neighbourhood by creating a web page for every house in the neighbourhood. To also restore some of the community spirit they didn’t want to just set up a universally accessible website. Instead they wanted to create a page you could only visit if you were actually standing in front of the house. This would invite people to walk around in (their own) neighbourhood, visit web pages linked to certain houses, and in the process get in contact with the current inhabitants. The reason I blog about it is that they are officially launched the project (and corresponding website, last Friday. And unfortunately I couldn’t be there…

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ubikima-logotest02Even though they are insecure, passwords are still the main form of authentication available on the web. There are several reasons for this. Users are used to passwords, and trust them. Teaching them to use something new requires time and effort. If users don’t see the benefit of a new system, they will continue using passwords. Services have been using passwords for ages. Using a different method requires a significant effort (in terms of time and other resources). Moreover, authentication systems form a two-sided market with cross side effects. This creates the chicken-egg dilemma that users will not migrate to a form of authentication that is not offered by a significant number of services, and services will not offer a new authentication method if no users use it.

The challenge is to break this vicious cycle. And UbiKiMa aims to achieve just that.

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