Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Google announced “Android Ready SE Alliance”: phone could be used as home key, ID, wallet

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Google has announced the “Android Ready SE Alliance”, which will ensure that upcoming smartphones have the underlying hardware that replaces car-home keys and digital wallets. In simple terms, with this initiative, phones could be used as a car-home-office key, ID card and also a digital wallet.

Many modern Android smartphones have a protected chip capable of storing and managing cryptographic keys and other sensitive data. It’s known as “eSE” for Samsung Galaxy devices and “Titan M” for Google Pixels.

These chips were originally added to provide a base of trust upon which the system and software could be built. But chips could also be used for other meaningful purposes, which is why Google has just formed the “Android Ready SE Alliance.

This is actually a partnership consisting of Google and many companies that manufacturer secure chips. Google has joined hands with manufacturers like Thales, ST Microelectronics, Giesecke + Devrient, Kige, and NXP.

These companies want to collaborate to build new applications with secure chips. it means the secure chips may use as digital keys of the car, home and office. Also for this secure chips will be used as identification documents like identity card, passport, driver’s licence and finance including a cryptocurrency wallet.

Android Ready SE Alliance features

These functions will be implemented as interoperable applets. A first applet, “StrongBox for SE,” which enables the storing of cryptographic keys, is already available.

Samsung Galaxy S21 can be used as a digital car key

“StrongBox is also applicable to WearOS, Android Auto Embedded, and Android TV’, says Google in a blog post.

Google further says that “All these features need to run on tamper-resistant hardware to protect the integrity of the application executables and a user’s data, keys, wallet, and more. Most modern phones now include discrete tamper-resistant hardware called a Secure Element (SE). We believe this SE offers the best path for introducing these new consumer use cases in Android”.

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