Biometrics just seem cool to me.  I’ve watched far too many films where access to a computer or a room was controlled with some sort of biometric access control, from retina scanners to palm readers it all just looks cool.  Well now my humble home PC has got a little bit cooler because it now has a fingerprint reader attached to it. 

The little USB device sits next to my mouse and glows red.  My placing a finger on it I log into my PC each morning and evening.  If I had multiple users set up it would even select the correct user and log me.  Each user of the PC could use the device to identify themselves uniquely.  Now logging into the PC using it is pretty cool, if it could only do that it wouldn’t be that interesting for long.  What it can also do is enter a username and password into any webpage or application that needs it.  It’s so easy to use as well, if you go to a website or use an application that uses an username name or password all you do is place a finger on the device.  If you’ve already saved the information for that website or application you’re logged in automatically.  If not, the included software realizes what you want to do and makes a pretty good guess about which fields are username and password and which is the submit button and prompts you to enter the information so it can store it for future use.  If it can’t work out which fields are which you can pick the appropriate fields and it will helpfully highlight the fields on the page so you can see what you are selecting.  You can choose to fill in other fields that aren’t required as well such as a “remember me” checkbox on the page at the same time.  Once you’ve saved the information all that’s required is a finger on the reader again and the fields get filled and submitted automatically.

Apart from the sheer coolness factor and that it’s so easy to use I really like not having to remember my passwords and usernames for all the sites I visit.  It seems that every month when I’m paying bills I forget one username or password for a website and have to hunt for the information or request a new password.  Not any more, now I just let the PC manage all that and I just give it the finger…