Project Vault is a computer that runs on a microSD card and is powered by custom software called a Real Time Operating System. The card also has an ARM processor, NFC chip, 4GB of secure storage, and an antenna, and it uses all of these components to help keep the user, their communications, and their passwords safe.
During its keynote at I/O today, Google’s ATAP group showed how Project Vault could be used to communicate with other Vault users through encrypted chat. The data is never sent using your phone, so it’s more difficult for anyone to snoop on your convo. Google says that Project Vault can also help keep a user’s device and data secure by learning about their patterns and how they use their phone. When Vault recognizes that the person using the phone is the owner, it authenticates them without needing to enter a password. But if Vault senses usage patterns that aren’t in line with the owner, it’ll know that it’s someone else.
Project Vault is still in its early stages, but any developers interested in checking it out can do so on github. While there’s no shortage of password managers and ways to keep your data secure, Project Vault looks especially handy because it’s just a microSD card that can work in whatever device can accept it, and it’ll just think it’s a plain ol’ card. And when it’s working correctly, it’ll save you time from having to enter passwords or copying and pasting them. Pretty awesome.