Passwords get the finger

For one solution to the password mess, look no further than your fingertips. Fingerprint authentication is an idea that has been around for years, but it is becoming cheaper and easier to implement fingertip scanning on PCs.

Ethentica on Tuesday introduced its Ethenticator MS 3000, a PC card-based touch verification system. Plug this card into an empty Type II slot, load up the software, and it's James Bond time. Your fingerprint can log you into Windows, open password-protected Microsoft Office documents, and access password protected websites.

Digital Persona is peddling a similar solution. Encouraging attendees to "give their computer the finger," the company is demonstrating the U.are.U Pro, a touch verification device that connects to the USB port. Bundled software allows touch-verified log-ins, Web surfing, and screensaver deactivation.

AuthenTec the third fingerprint player at Expo, stands apart from other touch verification companies. Rather than taking an image of a finger's surface, as conventional units do, the AuthenTec technology passes a small electric current through the user's fingertip, creating a map of the tissue a few layers beneath the skin's surface.

This approach allows authentication for people whose finger surfaces are damaged or otherwise unreadable -a group that comprises between ten and twenty percent of the US population, according to AuthenTec's Kurt Kyvic. The company announced a licensing agreement with BioLink, which will bring AuthenTec's technology to consumers in months to come.

Your fingers aren't the only game in town when it comes to biometric authentication. Veritel introduced its VoiceCheck technology, which allows access to a secure website following voice verification. The technology is designed to be platform-independent; though the demonstration used a PC as the target device, Veritel's solution could also be implemented on devices like mobile phones.

PINs are probably most widely-used on ATM machines. But in the Biometropolis, those disappear as well, with Viisage's face recognition software.

The Viisage booth has a dummy ATM. Show attendees were asked to sit down and have their picture taken. An image of their face was then fed to the FacePIN system and associated with a test ATM card. When they walked up, inserted their card, and stared at a camera for a fraction of a second, the ATM responded by stating their name. Implementations of this technology will hit the streets later this year, says Viisage's Michael Mazzu.

And there is one company out to extend the life of the lowly password. Net Nanny, best known for its parental control software, is demonstrating its BioPassword LogOn for Windows NT package, which increases the security of log-in passwords by noting your typing rhythm. Again, this approach to boosting security has been around for years.

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

Matthew Newton

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?