BIO-key fingerprint readers let users get in touch with Microsoft Hello

— 10:30 AM on September 29, 2016

Three new fingerprint readers compatible with the Windows Hello biometric login management technology baked into Windows 10's Anniversary Update are now available from the Microsoft Store, courtesy of BIO-key International. Two of the readers are dongles designed for use with laptops and tablets. The third device has a cable and should work well with desktop systems.

Microsoft claims that users can log into Windows using a fingerprint reader in two seconds, a figure that the company claims is a three-fold improvement compared to the average password entry time. Authenticating oneself this way lets users take advantage of Hello's purported "enterprise-grade security" without the need to type in a password. Windows Hello works with a variety of biometric inputs, including cameras, iris sensors, and fingerprint readers like BIO-key's.

All three USB fingerprint readers are available for $40 from the online Microsoft Store, as well as the Microsoft Store's brick-and-mortar locations. The devices work with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, but the Windows Hello feature requires Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update. If alternative authentication standards like those proposed by the FIDO Alliance become more popular, it might be handy to have one of these dongles around to prove your identity to the secure websites of the future with Windows Hello.

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