Update: it seems that this is only an experiment and it will disappear at some point but the good news is that they say they are working on an even better system.
We’re working on something that I believe is even better, and when that’s ready for a public trial we’ll let you know.
Source: Dirk Balfanz on Google+
Google has created a way for people to log into a public computer without typing in your password so now you can sign in to Google safely on public computers. That’s pretty cool. You will need a smartphone with a camera and a QR code scanner app that is signed into Google to do it though.
How to sign in to Google safely on Public Computers
You just go to the following url, scan the QR code (That’s all that is on the page.) and go to the url it provides on your smartphone. If you are not logged into Google on your phone it will ask you to log in.
I tested it and I was asked if I wanted to start with gmail or iGoogle. It took about a second after signing in on my phone to be signed in to my gmail account on the PC. Very cool.
On the other hand, I think the days of people signing in to public computers are numbered considering most people can check their email with smart phones or carry a tablet or ultrabook with them when they are travelling. I did log onto a public computer to do some work one night when I was in Paris last Autumn and maybe once on a trip back to Japan but before that I don’t remember when I did it. Probably years. And looking at the amazing lineup of new (and cheap) laptops and tablets that were announced at CES this year I think a lot of people will be tempted to splash out. I think that by the end of 2013 the number of people in the more developed nations who have some type of tablet will outnumber the ones that don’t.
In the meantime though, this does seem like a very safe way to sign in to Google on public computers. What do you think?