Log in to your Windows 10 PC with your fitness tracker

During Computex, Microsoft showed off an upcoming feature for Windows Hello that lets you log in to your Windows 10 PC with wearable devices.

Pretty soon, your fitness band won’t just track your steps, it could also help you log in to your Windows 10 PC. Microsoft recently announced it would soon extend Windows Hello capabilities to third parties. During Computex on Wednesday, Microsoft showed off using the Microsoft Band and other wearables to unlock a Windows 10 computer, as first reported by The Verge.

The new feature is part of an addition to the Windows Hello Companion Device Framework. We got our first look at the new framework in early April when Microsoft posted some developer documentation online. The basic idea is that when you are near your computer, a companion device like a fitness band or smartwatch can pair up with your PC and authenticate your presence. This can happen any number of ways, including over USB, Bluetooth, NFC, or by performing a special gesture—hardware permitting.

The new wearable-based authentication can also do more than just let you log in. Via Windows Hello, the wearable could also authenticate a purchase at the Windows Store or be used to log in to a website using the upcoming Hello integration with Microsoft Edge.

Why this matters: Figuring out authentication that goes beyond passwords and PINs is a current focus of many technology companies, including Microsoft. Windows Hello already supports biometric authentication via fingerprint readers and retina scans, but not all PCs are equipped with this technology. That’s where the new Hello companion framework comes in as it allows another “password-less” method of authentication for users. It may not stop at just wearables either. Smartphones could also offer Hello compatibility via an app for phone-based authentication.

It’s not clear when the new Windows Hello compatibility for wearables will roll out, but it’s a good bet this will show up with the Anniversary Update when many other new features are expected to land on Windows 10.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?