Intel is pioneering a prototype technology which will help replacing the passwords for online banking, social networks and email by a biometric sensor that recognizes the unique patterns of veins on a person’s palm.
Sridhar Iyengar, director of security research at Intel Labs, 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.
Making laptops, 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.
A 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.
The 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.
The technology works much better than the fingerprint scanners found on some laptops today, according to Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner.