Intel researchers recently demonstrated a system that has the potential to do away with computer passwords. The system is designed to recognize the pattern of veins in the palm of a hand as it is waved over a sensor, eliminating the need for a string of numbers and letters to gain access to computers, Web sites, and phones.
"Nobody likes passwords," says Intel's Justin Rattner. "This completely removes this deeply inconvenient notion of passwords."
Rattner notes the system is a work in progress, but he says it goes further than other biometric identification devices commonly in use today. Rattner says that once a computer identifies a user, embedded hardware and software connects with all the other protected services, such as online banking, that the person would normally access. Moreover, future devices will include additional sensors that detect when a user has stepped away and will automatically lock down access to all connected devices and sites.
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