Microsoft releases keyboard featuring fingerprint reader for secure logins

Microsoft recently released a premium keyboard with a fingerprint reader, which is designed to help users improve security and quickly log into their accounts, according to a report by eWeek.

The Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID, which retails for $129.99, is equipped with Fingerprints Cards’ FPC1025 touch fingerprint sensor, making it the first keyboard to include a “hidden” fingerprint sensor in a conventional key.

And while there is no sensor strip to give away its presence or impact the keyboard’s sleek design, there is a fingerprint icon next to the right Alt key that marks the sensor’s position.

The keyboard with scanner works with Windows Hello, the biometrics authentication feature included in Windows 10. During setup, users can easily configure Windows Hello to enable sign-ins.

The combined use of Windows Hello and supporting hardware helps users avoid reusing passwords, which is one of the leading causes of compromised accounts.

In a recent study by security organization Digital Shadows, analysts found that password reuse was a common practice in the case of millions of compromised credentials from top companies.

“Studies show more than 80 percent of people use the same password across multiple web sites, managing around 20-30 different accounts. We want to make sure that everyone running Windows 10 can experience the beautiful relief that comes from letting go of your written Pa55w0Rd5,” Jennifer Thompson, product marketing manager at Microsoft Accessories, wrote in a blog post. “So we worked to deliver a predictable, intent-driven and simple solution for someone to quickly and securely log into their PC, or authenticate an action.”

Thompson added that the keyboard’s fingerprint sensor enables users to successfully complete logins in less than two seconds, or three times faster than it usually takes to enter in a password.

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