Intel: Passwords will become obsolete

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

Imagine a life without passwords. Intel can and it hopes to do away them with new technology the chip maker is testing.

Intel researchers are developing a tablet that recognizes the unique patterns of veins in a person’s palm, removing the need to enter passwords, according to a Reuters report.

Sridhar Iyengar, director of security research at Intel Labs, said the key is biometrics, which involves using unique physiological characteristics to verify identities. The use of biometrics is considered more accurate than passwords, tokens or PINs, which could fall into the hands of anyone.

The tablet prototype Ivengar presented Thursday at a developer forum in San Francisco used new software and a biometric sensor to recognize his palm, Reuters reported.

Iyengar quickly waved his hand in front of the tablet without touching it. Once the tablet recognized his identity, Iyengar said, it could pass the information on securely to banks, social networks and others services. The tablet also sensed when he was away from it and logged itself off.

Can you foresee a time when you’ll no longer need to enter a password on your computer or smartphone?

6 comments Add your comment

Rick in Grayson

September 13th, 2012
6:39 pm

“The use of biometrics is considered more accurate than passwords, tokens or PINs, which could fall into the hands of anyone.”

Great! Just grab the owners hand and wave it across the screen to get access to their computer. Won’t even have to rip his eyeball from his head.


September 14th, 2012
8:09 am

Yes, I can foresee a day when the gazillion passwords now required will be obsolete: when the various device makers have sold all of their planned backlogs. Biometrics actually is quite old as a security device. profitable mass production is the only obstacle to its becoming the norm. Peeping parents and partners may have some headaches with it, though, as it will disallow their accessing their kids and s.o.’s info. Ah, well … . Let’s not let little things like safety and honesty get in the way of profits.


September 14th, 2012
8:51 am

The issue isn’t that it recognized his hand. The devil in biometrics is that it doesn’t recognize anyone else’s hand as his! Usually there are settings on biometric devices to make them more or less strict in getting a match. Too strict, it fails to recognize someone it should. Too loose, it will recognize 1 out of 10 as a match – falsely.

I'm Just Sayin'

September 14th, 2012
10:28 am

So, if lose your hand in an accident – what then?


September 14th, 2012
1:02 pm

I doubt passwords or secret questions will ever go away completely. I suspect the more realistic future has passwords becoming optional on an account. You could have biometrics for your hand, eye, finger, and face along with a chip in your wrist, but some ultra security conscience person will still want a password to his bank account. We have not invented (and probably never will) a biometric scanner for someones mind.


September 20th, 2012
1:09 pm

Welcome to Gattica? This “solution” is already being used to some degree as an alternative to the password protection on laptops, one of which I happen to own. Often it doesn’t recognize my finger print and I have to put in the password anyway.

Also, I read an article that discussed how the finger print reader and other biometric devices can actually be easily fooled or hacked- I can’t find it right now, but if I do I will come back and post.

I use a password manager to stay organized and secure. I’ve tried a couple and is the one I’m using now. I like this one because they use two-factor authentication and I get a virtual email to use with every password so I don’t have to give my real email out unless I want to. I only have to remember one password and one passphrase. The “assistant” lets me easily login to my online accounts.