it would seem that “user-centric” identity is about creating an “agent-in-the-middle” architecture for identity systems. An agent (usually automated) for the user sits in the middle of the identity flow, analyzing the flow request and determining how to handle the response. The determination would be based on policies defined by the user. It may require the agent to bring the user in for an explicit approval, or it may automatically approve or reject the flow based on previous user preferences (similar to the user checking the box that says “do not ask me again”). It may also apply a configured rule or policy to the identity flow that determines the action to take – ask user, approve, reject.
So who were these agents? One was WiMoto – when I fist talking to Scott Redmond he was explaining his tool…and I just didn’t like it..about advertising on my phone etc…THEN all of a sudden I ‘got it’ – I said “oh this is cool you have a user-agent.” I explained what it was from our ‘user-centric identity’ perspective. He was like sure I guess what is that we have. I met him early in the evening of a cocktail party where he would be demoing throughout. At the end he said he was eternally indebted to me for giving him that word “user-agent”. Apparently it let him communicate effectively to the other folks all night. It is now on the front page of their website. I still don’t get exactly how it works though.
The second user-agent I found was MyStrands – it is a mobile social networking app for night clubs. So you can text to the screen when you are in shared space together (like at the night club). It also lets you opt in to get information about the bands and clubs. So it is a promotion network. They look like their are going some where!