Passwords for online banking, social networks and email could be
replaced with the wave of a hand if prototype technology developed by
Intel makes it to tablets and laptops.
Aiming to do away with the need
to remember passwords for growing numbers of online services, Intel
researchers have put together a tablet with new software and a biometric
sensor that recognizes the unique patterns of veins on a person's palm.
problem with passwords we use too many of them, their rules are
complex, and they differ for different websites," Sridhar Iyengar,
director of security research at Intel Labs, said at the annual Intel
Developer Forum in San Francisco on Thursday. "There is a way out of it,
and biometrics is an option."
Iyengar demonstrated the
technology, quickly waving his hand in front of a tablet but not
touching it. Once the tablet recognizes a user, it can securely
communicate that person's identity to banks, social networks and other
services where the person has accounts, he said.
tablets and smartphones responsible for identifying users would take
that requirement away from individual websites and do away with the need
to individually enter passwords into each of them, Iyengar said.
"We plan to work with service providers to take full advantage of this," he said.
device using the technology would use built-in accelerometers to detect
when a user puts it down, and would then log its owner off to keep
unauthorized people from getting in.
technology was one of several demonstrations during a keynote address by
Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner at the forum. Rattner
runs Intel Labs, which focuses on identifying and solving future
Rattner also showed prototype technology to
improve cell-phone base stations and to efficiently and wirelessly
connect devices such as printers, tablets and monitors throughout the
He debuted a prototype microchip with wifi technology made
with digital circuitry instead of analog, a development that has the
potential to lead to major improvements in performance and efficiency.
palm-reading technology, still under development, requires new software
and biometric sensors built into consumer devices, but does not require
the development of any new kinds of chips, Rattner said.
The technology works much better than the finger-print scanners found on some laptops today, he said.
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012