Synaptics: we know it for its tremendous efforts in human interface solutions. The touchpad manufacturer has developed technologies for “a large range of mobile computing, PC, entertainment and other consumer electronic devices”; with customers including Acer, Asus, Dell, Google, HTC, and Lenovo achieving higher levels of authentication (thanks, Wiki). So what is Synaptics up to lately? Considering we’re constantly expecting the next best thing in recognition technology (you know, facial, gesture, touch, and now iris thanks to Samsung), what we have here is an under-glass fingerprint sensor, a technology we first heard LG Innotek getting its hands on. Now, Synaptics had its chance at Computex 2016 to show off a real prototype that has been in the works for two years.
Not every detail is out in the open, but there is just enough to get the gist and get excited for a next-level achievement in security features. Although Synaptics’ reps would not allow any photography during the unveiling, enough sources, such as Engadget, have enough data to tell us that “the prototype was simply a special glass trackpad, retrofitted into an existing laptop”.
Overall, Synaptics is bringing this fingerprint scanning technology in the form of USB dongle, which is dubbed “Turnkey USB Fingerprint Solution”, and is simple enough to use on any PC. The goal is to log into your Windows device with the touch of a finger using the company’s fingerprint sensor sitting underneath its glass layer, which is based on Synaptic’s Natural ID technology, a concept relying on capacitive touch sensing and SentryPoint security features (An and Tech).
The entire carbon copy of your fingerprint isn’t taken, however. What is taken is an “abstract of a fingerprint” using an exclusive algorithm, and then an encryption process is used to protect it. It’s nearly impossible to get past the unique identity of a human fingerprint. We do not know the model of the device, nor do we know the encryption type Synaptics uses. All we know, security-related, is that it’s certified by FIDO (Fast IDentity Online), works with Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport (from Windows 10). We also know the USB device is out of prototype mode, and will be into the hands of tech companies, who “will either bundle them with their computers or simply resell them to interested parties under their brands”. There are several configurations, and an exact price is not known at the moment
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