The Power of Thumb

YOUR fingerprint may soon replace your (likely forgeable) signature, and will do away with the need for usernames and passwords. Biometric fingerprint technology has already made it possible to do banking and identity analysis with your fingertip, and have now released a device that grants you unique access to your personal computer.

The Eikon fingerprint reader is a portable USB device that has been primarily developed for remote employees to gain access to corporate resources and networks with a swipe of their finger. According to a press release, this more convenient way of logging into corporate networks has resulted in increased productivity and has reduced the risk of major data breaches.

To put it simply, the fingerprint reader allows users to effortlessly swipe their finger across a device (instead of typing in usernames and passwords) to log into Windows, access password-protected websites, encrypt and decrypt files, switch users, and launch favorite applications.

The Eikon fingerprint reader
Eikon fingerprint reader

The device is a product of UPEK Inc., which is hailed as one of the global leaders in enterprise and consumer biometric fingerprint solutions. Their authentication hardware and software are integrated into laptops from the world’s top five largest PC makers, as well as USB flash drives, external hard disk drives, and mobile phones from leading manufacturers. In other words you’re not likely to escape this wave of technology if you buy a new phone or laptop in the near future.

I burnt one of my fingertips (fingerprint included) beyond recognition in a freak stove-related accident when I was younger. But luckily for me (and others who have similar war-stories) we still (hopefully) have nine fingers left with prints intact. I’m just worried that one of my other fingers will get chopped of by a mugger when word of this technology hits the streets.

The Eikon works with Internet Explorer and Firefox, and is compatible with both Windows XP and Vista. It goes for $39 (roughly R300).

Related post: Your finger or your life!

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