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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.

via jkkmobile

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8 replies on “Biometric fingerprint scanners for netbooks”

  1. I think Slashdot had an article about how those facial recognition thingies they use in Lenovo and other laptops instead of the finger scanner have been cracked and that yes, you can use a picture of a registered user to fool the recognition device.

    It reminds me of the power bars that people use to lock their steering to make themselves feel safe. ITs a lot easier to cut through a steering wheel and real criminals do it all the time.

  2. If there were a burning desire out there for fingerprint scanners in “litebooks” we would have heard about hacks here or in other forums. Guess there isn’t much interest.

  3. Why? Biometric scanners like these usually suck for real security and I can’t imagine these low budget versions are even in the typical range for performance…

    1. They suck not because of quality of the scanner, but because of the fact that they do not offer any real security. With fingerprint scanner, you basically leave your password on anything you touch, which is equivalent to using “password1” as your pass, and leaving it on a post-it note attached to your monitor. 🙂

      As domino said below, facial recognition is also easy to hack.

  4. Well, what do those scanners REALLY cost? I mean it is not impossible that the scanner and associated software might add only $1 to the cost of the machine.

    They put stupid 1.3 MP cameras on the damn things, so why not a doo-hickey that reads the bumps on your finger.

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