Biometrics making inroads with laptops

Posted on June 30th, 2005

Biometric technology is taking another leap toward widespread usage as Hewlett-Packerd C° ships new laptops with fingerprint readers.

HP nc6125 notebookThe nc6125 notebook PC includes a fingerprint sensor made by AuthenTec Inc. (*), which says HP is the biggest computer maker to offer a biometric reader as standard equipment. The computer, aimed at business market, sells for $ 1.000 and up.

Fingerprint biometrics are a more secure and convenient alternative to passwords, which are often forgotten and stolen. But only in recent years has the technology’s accuracy improved to the point where it could confidently be deployed in a wide range of consumer applications.

Having computers ship with biometric capabilities build-in could promt more websites to adopt two-factor authentication schemes requiring a second ID check beyond the simple password. Such security measures are common in many European countries, though the second verification is still generally provided as another form of password rather than a biometric ID.

(*) Is supported by QFinger SDK

By Brian Bergstein – The Associated Press