THE RIPE STUFF

10 Sep ‘15

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Passwords are the worst. But can we live without them?

10 Sep ‘15

In: Rants, Something else, else, Technology, / By: Chris Simental

The average person has 19 passwords. That’s 19 different things to remember. Sure you might make some of them the same, and many of them are on auto-fill, but what about when you need to log in on a different computer, or your laptop gives out, or you accidentally clear your browser cookies? Some of us have been there and it’s not pretty. One of the things I hate the most, personally, is having to reset a password. Although I know the tedious process is set up for my own security, I loathe that it takes so many steps. And now most sites require strong passwords, which is good and all, but it’s no fun.

Touch to the rescue

One of the features I didn’t expect to appreciate as much as I do on the iPhone 6 is the fingerprint reader. With the iPhone 5, I grew tired of constantly pressing the button and tapping the 4-digit code just to turn the thing on. It took five actions! I anticipated that Touch ID would make that process much faster, but I had no idea how great it would be. Because the reader is also a button, all I have to do now is press it once, it reads my fingerprint, and the phone is unlocked with one single action. Of course, that’s not including the many many many times I had to press my finger to it to get the fingerprints stored in the first place, but once the prints are in it’s easy peasy. The thing that really surprised me, though, was the fact that apps could use Touch ID as well. That meant I didn’t have to enter my password for the app store, or for Amazon, or some of the other apps. This saves me a bunch of time while also making my phone exponentially more secure.

Can we really live without passwords?

Kirk Skaugen, Senior VP and general manager of Intel’s Client Computing Group, says they “want to eliminate all passwords from computing.” That sounds ambitious, but when you consider Intel’s new 6th Generation Core chips and RealSense 3D Camera, which looks at multiple angles to detect the depth and heat to determine the user’s identity, it is actually possible to extend the ease of Touch ID to include facial recognition. Imagine a world where you turn on your computer or mobile device with your finger or your face and then never have to use a password ever again. That means we’d never have to change passwords again, or worry about losing them or someone stealing them. That sounds pretty awesome to me, and that world is actually here! Well, for certain Windows 10 devices, that is. Microsoft’s new Windows Hello feature, which is slowly rolling out to more devices and markets, lets users log in with a finger, face, or eye. And, apparently, it works great.

So it seems we can and will live without passwords someday soon and I’m really looking forward to it. Here’s a clip of Windows Hello in action.

 

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