Microsoft DigitalPersona (Biometric Fingerprint Reader)

Who ever said Microsoft doesn't innovate is just full of it. I just picked up the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader. This thing is so utterly cool. The software it comes with is awesome.

Basically it works like this. You install some software, reboot, plug in the reader and train it on any of your fingers. Now if you have a PC at home that is configured to use Fast User Switching, you just place your finger on the device and it automatically logs you in. It even knows which user to select.

But it gets better. On any web page, or Application, you can configure the device to enter your credentials. The UI is super cool, and it does an amazing job at guessing where the right text boxes are, and places this nice halo around the box to make the selection explicit. You can also point it to things if it cannot figure out what the username, password or signin buttons are. Finally you can configure it to select “Remember my password” and such. Below is a screen shot of what this looks like for logging into my blog.

I have also configured the device to enter my Microsoft Money Password, which is super cool.

Kudos to the Microsoft Hardware folks. This thing rocks. I wish my laptop had a biometric reader.

Comments (10)
  1. John says:

    I too got one today and agree it is super cool.

    One thing I have not tried is to have one user account (my wife) with multiple finger print profiles for web sites. (So I can have a different username/password when I use my thumb when the computer is logged in as her.

    All in all, really cool. I think this may be a christmas gift for several family members.


  2. Mike Belshe says:

    Glad to hear someone that is using it. So here is a question for you. I’m a believer that someone, someday, is going to write a virus/spyware/etc which steals keyboard keystrokes and sends them to a central service to steal a lot of identities and cash. (Oh wait, that has already been done! 🙂

    What happens when someone now writes software which steals your fingerprint as it comes off the thumbpad and into your computer?

    If they steal my password, at least it is is something I can change. But geez, if they steal the digital representation of my fingerprint, aren’t I hosed for life? Can I ever get back my identity at that point?

  3. Does it work with Firefox and Opera, or only with Internet Explorer?

  4. Omar Shahine says:

    Not sure.

  5. Brian says:

    You can use it with Firefox and Opera, you can also use it for non web based stuff like Quickbooks, VPN, etc…

  6. Actually, it doesn’t appear to work with Firefox. I just picked up this gadget and it will not store passwords for Mozilla’s browser. That is pretty disappointing.

  7. AT says:

    LOL ;-))

    Microsoft simply asquered this technology from

    I do not see any innovations in this.

    Kudos to scientists from Caltech and MIT and founders of Logitech who has founded a Digital Persona Inc.

  8. Duff Downer says:

    My Keyboard w/ Fingerprint Reader goes back tomorrow. It won’t capture logins in Fiorefox. If you are still taking your chances with IE, then it seems to work just fine.

  9. I’m interested in the scenario mentioned above by John, with multiple finger print profiles for websites (for multiple users) within one Windows account, but can’t see how this can be done. Has anyone managed it?

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