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Biometric fingerprint scanners come to Netbooks

Mini-laptop users not only are getting the convenience of portability, but of security as well as biometric fingerprint scanners may become an integrated option on future Netbooks.


"I put down $500 for a Netbook and all I got was an integrated Webcam!" Don't complain. That's not a bad deal, but if you must, I'll see that Webcam and raise you an integrated biometric fingerprint scanner.

This week, UPEK announced the availability of biometric fingerprint scanners for Netbooks and other Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) with its TouchStrip TCS5 Fingerprint Sensor. Along with the sensor is the dedicated touch-based Fingerprint Suite Starter software that allows users to access password-protected Web sites with the swipe of a digit.

So as users get caught up in cloud computing applications and online storage of personal files to compensate for the lack of storage on their Netbooks, the burden of remembering a number of different passwords to access Facebook and Twitter accounts will be alleviated.

The Fingerprint Suite Starter will be available starting in March with support for Windows XP and planned support for Windows 7 Starter edition. In addition, Fingerprint Suite support for Linux will be available later this year.

There's no word on pricing, but UPEK is marketing its technology to Netbook makers, not end users. So odds are biometric scanners may show up as an option on some Netbooks in the future.