Synaptics, the leading developer of human interface solutions, has announced a turnkey USB fingerprint reader that can give biometric authentication to PCs.

On June 1, Synaptics unveiled the Turnkey USB Fingerprint Solution, an ultra-small form factor USB module that enables Natural ID secure fingerprint authentication on any notebook PC.

Some passwords are easy to remember, but they may not be strong enough. On the other hand, complex passwords may be difficult to remember. Passwords to unlock computer systems have been in existence for many decades, but the growing popularity of fingerprint scanning for unlocking devices, specially smartphones and tablets, may completely eliminate the need for passwords.

During the 2016 Google I/O, the company confirmed that it is working on a password replacement technology, as experts suggest that passwords may not be used as an authentication method in the next decade.

"Within the next 10 years, traditional passwords will be dead as an authentication form," said Patrick Salyer, CEO of Gigya, a customer identity management provider. "Consumer-focused brands require modern customer identity management infrastructures that support newer, more secure authentication methods, such as biometrics."

Synaptics' USB dongle is an answer for PC owners who are looking for new ways to unlock their computers. Godfrey Cheng, the vice president of marketing, Human Interface Systems Division Synaptics, said that the speedy growth of online payment system and critical want for PC protection has led to the development of biometric authentication in the computer industry.

"Our new USB fingerprint reader expands our line-up of PC peripherals, enabling our customers to offer consumers myriad options for adding fingerprint sensing to existing notebook and desktop PCs," said Cheng.

The company's turnkey solution is very affordable and can be bundled with computers or sold separately. The USB dongle is compact yet it houses a ready-to-use fingerprint module. Users have to follow a simple and straightforward enrollment procedure before using the dongle, after which they can unlock their PC with a single touch.

Synaptics says the Turnkey USB Fingerprint Solution is certified by FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) and is compatible with Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport.

Synaptics showcased its USB dongle fingerprint scanning technology at the 2016 Computex. It's worth mentioning that the company is not developing the USB dongle but will only provide and license the technology to USB manufacturers. It is expecting the USB dongle to go in mass production towards the end of this year.

The company has not confirmed the configuration of price of the USB dongle but hinted that customers should expect the hardware at less than $50.

Photo: Chad Miller | Flickr

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