Windows Hello first grabbed headlines as the platform that would bring biometric security to Windows devices with Windows 10. Now, Hello is available on nearly 100 individual devices and accessories, furthering Microsoft's mission to kill the password.
For those unfamiliar, Hello allows Windows users with a supported device to sign in using a scan of their face, a fingerprint, or a PIN. At Build 2016, Microsoft opened Hello up to hardware manufacturers when it announced the companion device framework for Hello.
According to a press release, Microsoft has 20 different partners now producing companion devices to work with Hello. Here are four of the most unique and useful Hello companion devices.
1. Nymi Band
The Nymi Band is a wearable device that works with Apple's Touch ID as well as Windows Hello. A user wears the band on his or her wrist, and taps it when they are close to their Windows machine to sign in. One of the most unique aspects of Nymi's technology is its HeartID feature, which relies on user's heartbeat and their unique electrocardiogram (ECG) to authenticate them, according to the release.
According to Nymi's website, the band creates a personal authentication network around the user through technologies like Bluetooth and NFC. "Once this network is activated, credentials can be securely and persistently relayed to provisioned devices within range, until the Nymi Band is removed from the user's wrist," the site said.
The YubiKey is a keychain USB device that acts as an authentication key for a Windows Hello machine. Once configured, the user plugs the YubiKey into their device and it unlocks. The YubiKey also has a capacitive sensor that can activate the YubiKey when touched. According to the release, the device is low-cost and nearly indestructible. It also supports two-factor authentication, and can work with NFC as well.
3. RSA SecureID Access Authenticator
Initially previewed at Microsoft Ignite 2016, the RSA SecureID Access Authenticator allows the user to use a smartphone to authenticate and log in to their Windows Hello device. The RSA SecureID Access Authenticator is a smartphone application that will remotely sign a user into a Windows 10 PC if you are a certain distance away, the release said. Or, it will also allow you to use biometric tools like your fingerprint, or to enter a PIN.
4. HID Global Seos card
The HID Global Seos card turns a user's employee badge into an authentication device for their Windows 10 machine. The card relies on NFC technology, and the user simply taps it against the corresponding part of their machine to sign in. "A high assurance version of the HID Global card also supports digital signing and encryption based on NIST standards," the release said.
- Windows 10: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- YubiKey for Windows Hello brings hardware-based 2FA to Windows 10 (ZDNet)
- Five reasons to upgrade to Windows 10 (TechRepublic)
- Passport name out, Hello anchors Windows 10 MFA platform (ZDNet)
- New security features make Windows 10 Anniversary Update a must (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.