On Tuesday, Microsoft announced its plans to release Windows 10 in 190 countries around the world in 111 languages this summer, though the exact date is still unclear. The company also announced Windows Hello, a new biometric security function that’ll offer users new ways to log into their devices.
According to another of Microsoft’s Blogging Windows post from yesterday, Windows Hello relies on a number of different biometric factors to unlock devices for users. That includes fingerprint scanners, which have been in laptops for a while, and have more recently rolled out to smartphones. Hello also uses facial and iris detection, along with infrared sensors, to make sure that what the operating system is seeing is actually a person.
“For facial or iris detection, Windows Hello uses a combination of special hardware and software to accurately verify it is you – not a picture of you or someone trying to impersonate you. The cameras use infrared technology to identify your face or iris and can recognize you in a variety of lighting conditions.”
The post adds that “Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensors.” Unless this stuff was already baked into your computer, though, chances are good that you won’t have access to Hello unless you buy a new machine altogether.
Windows Hello will also work with the newly announced Windows Passport to allow users to access sites and apps without needing to set up a password. Because it can tie into biometric security measures, Passport will reduce the need for passwords in general. In theory, this ought to provide better security, since hackers won’t be able to steal a password you didn’t need to create in the first place.
Sounds promising, but we won’t know how well it works until it’s put into practice. We’ll know more this summer when Windows 10 launches, of course.