You know how it goes: you try to login on some online service, only to find you don't remember the password. Or you've got one of the few laptops with finger-print scanners which don't always work that well. The world's largest chip maker thinks it has found the solution to these problems: wave your hands.
Researchers at Intel have developed a tablet with custom engineered software and a biometric sensor that scans the patterns of veins of your palm, which is unique per person just like finger prints. By just waving your hands in front of the screen without touching it, you can communicate your identity to an online service. According to the director of security research at Intel Labs, Sridhar Iyengar, biometrics is one of the ways to solve the password problem:
The problem with passwords — we use too many of them, their rules are complex, and they differ for different websites
Intel's system is a little different from most biometric identification systems. Once the user is identified, the system automatically connects software and embedded hardware with all protected services. In other words, the tablet, smartphone or laptop is responsible for identifying users instead of the service. Another feature is that the system automatically locks the access to connected services and hardware, when the users puts the tablet down and the systems detects that the user has gone away.
Iyengar also said Intel plans to work with service providers for the technology to reach its full potential. According to Intel chief technology officer, Justin Rattner, an increasing amount of lab work is focused on finding solutions to real-life problems. Rattner also said although Intel's palm-reading technology is still under development, it doesn't require new kind of chips.