Three new Windows Hello-ready fingerprint scanners that plug into any Windows 10 PC
Microsoft’s war on passwords has prompted hardware manufacturers to ramp up their own efforts in providing consumers with options to unlock their PCs with all sorts of biometric scanners, most of them compatible with Windows Hello. Microsoft’s own Windows 10 PC “bouncer” is the one who gets the final say on who logs in, by eliminating the need for a password.
At the end of 2016, passwords have officially become the laughing stock of security on home PCs, and a liability on the workplace, while biometric authentication gains ground with mobile devices on the frontlines.
With that said, while smartphones and tablets have built-in biometric security through fingerprint readers built into the home button, and face recognition software powered by built-in cameras, laptops and desktop PCs still lack the built-in hardware to make use of Windows Hello’s password-killing chops.
As of late hardware manufacturer BIO-Key has released three Windows Hello-compatible devices capable of plugging into any Windows 10 PC.
EcoID is a fingerprint scanner built for desktop PCs, with a distinctive and almost “industrial” look designed to fit in a workplace environment, as its stark white and square case is easily recognizable on a cluttered desk.
This model tethers to a desktop PC via a USB cord and work simply by pressing a finger on it for logging into Windows 10 and authenticate apps that use Windows Passport.
As the name suggests, SideTouch fits on the side of a portable device, or any accessible USB port on a desktop or laptop PC, and works in the same way as EcoID, but with a smaller profile, to fit personal devices that should not be accessed by other people. This type of device is useful when using a laptop in a public place where someone could peek over the shoulder of a laptop user while a password is being typed.
SideSwipe is about as good as it gets when needing a fast and reliable way to unlock a compact Windows 10 device that lacks a fingerprint scanner, like a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 sans the latest fingerprint reader-enabled type cover.
As the name Suggests, SideSwipe works a little differently than other fingerprint readers. Instead of pressing a finger on the sensor, the device requires the user to simply swipe a finger over the device. This is because the scanner uses a narrower scanner that captures a fingerprint in the same way as a stylus barcode scanner. SideSwipe looks almost identical to SideTouch, except for the fact that SideTouch is fitted with a full-sized fingerprint scanner.
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