I am not a prediction guy. But I feel strongly about 2 technology services that are emerging — both happen to be related to authentication.

1. Twitter — 10–15 years back, Microsoft had the potential to become the defacto authentication gateway for several internet sites and applications. Used to be called Passport. And Web 2.0 emerged, services mushroomed and Microsoft hadn’t kept pace. Along came OpenID. For reasons unknown to me, OpenID was a non-starter. Right now, I see the number of applications using Twitter for authentication as an emerging trend. I won’t be surprised if Twitter is the new Passport/ OpenID.

2. Google 2FA — When Google implemented two factor authentication (2FA in short), they came out with the Authenticator App. If you work for a company that lets you VPN in to your company network and you use a RSA token for that, Authenticator does exactly the same thing but with 2 differences. One — it is not a device, it is an app installed on a phone or tablet you already own. Two — it is not limited to one application. Google created this as a framework and opened it up for developers to use it’s APIs on their own networks. The result? I can now use 2FA (and I do) to authenticate myself to several services including Amazon AWS, Wordpress, Facebook and a variety of others, of course, in addition to Google’s own services. The upside is there is no downside. Unlike RSA tokens, for which the management overhead is still too high, Google Authenticator is completely maintenance-free (if it is not, I don’t know) — for the consumer (me), for the authentication service provider (Google) as well as the actual service provider (Amazon or Wordpress or Facebook in my case)

Call me a geek, but I am guessing even the non-geeks will be heavy users of these services in not too long from now.