Intel lends a hand eliminating passwords

Intel is working on palm-scanning technology to eliminate weak password-based user authentication

Security experts believe passwords offer little or no protection from unauthorised access to corporate IT systems and online accounts, and now Intel is working on an alternative.

An increasing number of data breaches are being blamed on weak passwords and poor practices, with most computer users struggling to keep track of multiple passwords.

Intel is working on a technology that could eliminate passwords by using biometric sensors to scan the unique patterns of veins in the palm of a user’s hand, in order to verify their identity.

The technology is still under development, but Intel claims it works better than fingerprint scanners, according to the Telegraph.  

The palm-reading technology requires new software and biometric sensors built into devices, but does not require the development of any new kinds of chips

The user verification could be used not only to access a laptop or tablet computer, but also online services. Intel is working with service providers to enable this.

Making laptops, tablets and smartphones responsible for identifying users would take that requirement away from individual websites and do away with the need to individually enter passwords into each of them, Sridhar Iyengar, director of security research at Intel Labs, told the 2012 Intel Developer Forum.

The palm scanner could also be paired with an accelerometer that would enable devices equipped with the technology to lock automatically when not in use.

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