You may have been reading about Windows 10 and its new features, or perhaps you just upgraded, and came across this mysterious Windows Hello that is much talked about.
If you’re wondering what it is and if it works on your Surface tablet, read on.
What is Windows Hello?
Windows Hello is the newest addition to Microsoft‘s “personal computing” features of Windows 10. It is a biometric authentication system that allows you to log into Windows 10 devices with just a finger touch or show of your face.
That’s right folks, you read that right, no more passwords or even pin numbers to login AND it’s more secure! Talk about convenient! To make it even better, you will be able to login to certain applications, or your company’s systems, using Windows Hello without storing your passwords on the device or company network.
To put it simply, Windows 10 supports biometric authentication via fingerprint, face, or iris and this technology is much safer by uniquely keying to you to your device, application, system, and even the web.
Today, passwords are the most common way to protect your personal devices and data but they are cumbersome and often insecure, so Windows Hello will truly revolutionize user security. This will be especially true for industries with very strict, regulated data requirements, such as healthcare, military, financial, etc.
But there is a catch…
What are the hardware requirements?
Windows Hello requires special hardware to work. Specifically, it needs a fingerprint reader or infrared camera. Some devices already come equipped with fingerprint readers, so they are able to take advantage of this new technology by upgrading to Windows 10. However, not many devices have the required infrared cameras and without them, the facial and iris recognition will not work.
This is because Windows Hello uses a combination of software and hardware to verify who you are, not your picture, so without the hardware (biometric sensors), it does not work.
The good news is that many devices are expected to be marketed with the needed hardware to take advantage of this great new technology, even phones!
“We’re working closely with our hardware partners to deliver Windows Hello capable devices that will ship with Windows 10 and we are excited to announce that all OEM systems incorporating the Intel® RealSense™ 3D Camera (F200) will support the facial unlock features of Windows Hello, including automatic sign-in to Windows, and support to unlock “Passport” without the need for a PIN.” Microsoft said in a blog post.
Does it work on Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3
So, the big question is: Does Windows Hello work with my Surface?
Unfortunately, right now the answer is NO. They simply do not have the necessary hardware. This is especially disappointing with the Surface 3, the newest addition to the Microsoft Surface family, because it was released just a couple months ago.
However, there is much speculation that the new Surface Pro 4 will be equipped with the necessary biometric camera and will be able to take full advantage of this new Windows 10 feature – I sure hope so!
What do you think? Would Windows Hello be something you use for either personal or business data security and convenience?
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.