As a concept, Windows Hello has always been interesting. A way to securely log in to a machine using biometric authenticators, the service is one of the unique selling points of Windows 10. However, moving from concept to reality has always been about whether OEMs would adopt Windows Hello. In a new blog post, Microsoft explains an expanding list of companies who are using the service on their hardware.
On the Windows Experience blog, Microsoft explains that there are now 100 unique devices that are Windows Hello enabled. This list of hardware covers a range of form factors and uses. Microsoft says this shows the idea of biometric authentication in Windows 10 is a winner.
Windows Hello uses factors such as fingerprint and iris scanning, and facial recognition are authentication. It brings business-grade biometric authentication to Windows 10, including elements of Microsoft's now closed Passport platform. As well as biometrics, Hello also uses credential features, giving it a two aspect way to log in- Factor and Credential.
Microsoft explains that since launching the Hello framework at Build 2016, OEMs have embraced the idea: “We have had more than 20 partners join our efforts to make passwords a thing of the past. By opening the Windows Hello companion device framework to the hardware industry, our partners are delivering differentiated and innovative Windows Hello devices that meet the needs of both consumers and businesses, including those in heavily regulated industries.”
The company says partners include Lenovo, Xiaomi, Symantec, and Huawei. On its blog, Microsoft has highlighted a few interesting implementations of Windows Hello on devices.
Windows Hello Devices
One companion device for the service is the Nymi Band. This is a wearable device that allows users to log in to a PC by just approaching the machine. The wrist wearable achieves this by using the Nymi HeartID technology, which takes a user's unique electrocardiogram (ECG) as the log in authenticator. All users need to do is tap the band to log in.
The YubiKey is a USB device from Yubico. It plugs in to a machine and allows the PC to become more secure when unlocking. Microsoft says the device is affordable and almost indestructible.
Lastly, Microsoft discusses the RSA SecureID Access Authenticator from leading security firm, RSA. The authenticator works as an app on a mobile device and can be used to sign in to a Windows 10 PC remotely. This is “based on your proximity to the device or through the entry of a PIN or biometric verification from the app, depending on certain risk factors.”