Intel introduces palm reading biometric

Taking a hands-on approach.

Intel last week said it wants to do away with computer passwords – and wants to let them. Research scientists at the world’s largest chipmaker demonstrated a system that recognizes the pattern of veins in the palm of a hand as it’s waved over a sensor, eliminating the need for the string of numbers and letters now used to gain access to phones, computers or web sites.

“Nobody likes passwords,” Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner said at a meeting for developers on Thursday. “This completely removes this deeply inconvenient notion of passwords.”

While other so-called biometric identification devices are already in common use, Intel’s system goes further. Once the machine has identified a user, embedded hardware and software connects with all the other protected services, say, online banking, that person would normally access.

For added protection, the machines will contain additional sensors that detect when a user has stepped away and will automatically lock down access to all connected machines and sites, Rattner said.

He also took pains to reassure people who may be concerned that miscreants might resort to violence to gain access to a person’s palm. “Severed hands won’t work because you have to have blood flow,” he assured. Phew.

Intel (INTC : NASDAQ : US$23.31), Net Change: -0.05, % Change: -0.19%, Volume: 42,770,896

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