Bio-metric login systems are not completely new. Fingerprint scanners are already found on many business computers for example. But the problem with trying to provide a bio-metric authentication that is based on face or retina was that past attempts have led to unreliable software, clunky hardware or both. The difference now is that Microsoft is no longer building just the operating system, it is also building hardware. This gives the company more control. The tests it did on this new Windows 10 authentication method were done with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and with the Nokia Lumia 950. The results are outstanding. The user just sits (or stands) in front of his/her device and it magically unlocks.
The new authentication method will not come without cost. In order to ensure a seamless and smooth login that doesn’t require extra user intervention the mobile devices will be strains the processor and on the battery life as the system camera will also scan for the user constantly under certain triggers. For the phone the login takes a little more time as the Nokia Lumia starts scanning for your face only after the user has pressed the unlock button. As expected Windows Hello only works with a limited selection of hardware. Although the clear requirements were not yet made clear by Microsoft the facial recognition is rumored to need a web-cam with infrared capability. Overall this is good news as Microsoft is paving the way for future devices that will have all the needed hardware for bio-metric login built-in. And when Windows Hello will be rolled out, existing Windows 10 users that don’t have the needed camera and want to use this feature can upgrade it or buy new hardware.