Just because you only paid $300 for your netbook doesn’t mean you don’t store sensitive financial or work-related data on it. So while it might seem silly to add to the cost of a mini-laptop by including advanced security features like a biometric fingerprint scanner, I can certainly see some folks opting for a netbook with a bit more security. Especially as netbooks start to become more popular as business machines.
UPEK, a company that makes biometric security devices has announced the launch of fingerprint identification devices for netbooks and Mobile Internet Devices. In addition to hardware fingerprint scanners, UPEK offers software that lets users store their passwords and login information for web services, which means you can swipe your finger over your netbook to login to your email, work network, Facebook, or other web sites.
UPEK’s Fingerprint Suite Starter for low cost ultraportables wll be available in March and will support Windows XP. A Linux version will be available later this year, and the company plans to support Windows 7 Starter Edition as well. There’s no word on the pricing, but UPEK is marketing its technology to netbook makers, not end users. So you may see biometric scanners show up as an option on some mini-laptops in the future, but if you want to add a fingerpring authentication device to a laptop you already own, you’ll probably have to buy a different unit that you can plug into the USB drive.