So far there are just a handful of products built on FIDO — but with the new spec, that's about to change. Google's security key was one example, and another was Samsung's fingerprint reader, which could log you directly into the native PayPal app. (Samsung and PayPal were both early FIDO members.) But the company anticipates a flood of new phones and authenticator widgets now that the spec is complete. The iPhone's TouchID sensor will also work with the new spec, thanks to some clever coding by a software company called Nok Nok, which has built a program adapting Apple's now-open API to the FIDO protocols.
Like any standard, FIDO will succeed or fail by adoption: FIDO-friendly fingerprint readers will inspire more FIDO-friendly apps, and vice versa. But the group already has major companies signed on from nearly every group it needs: manufacturers like Samsung, Qualcomm, and Blackberry; service companies like Google, Microsoft, and Netflix; and financial companies like Bank of America, PayPal, and Visa. Coming on the heels of major hacks at Sony and Target, the group is betting the industry will be ready to move on from passwords. With the completed spec finally available, there'll be nothing to stop them. "We now really are within range of seeing the world changing," FIDO Alliance president Michael Barrett told The Verge, "and that's the exciting part."