These are the first third-party Windows Hello cameras

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Tobii Tech Platforms Support Windows Hello.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Hello password-less biometric authentication system has gotten a boost thanks to new facial recognition support from Swedish eye-tracker device maker, Tobii.

Windows 10’s Windows Hello face authentication one of the most innovative conveniences in Windows 10—but only a handful of new PCs have the depth-sensing cameras needed to use it.However, with Tobii’s world class eye-tracking platform, Windows Hello can now authenticate using a bevy of identity points, adding yet, another layer of protection to a user’s account.

Tobii announced that its eye-tracking platforms support facial recognition for Windows Hello, giving device manufacturers Windows 10-ready biometric authentication and eye-tracking functionality for computers and peripherals, all on the same sensor. Rather than typing a long word with at least eight characters, with at least one number and both uppercase and lowercase letters, Windows Hello lets you log in to your PC by recognizing your face.

Tobii said Wednesday that a firmware update to its $129 peripheral allows the device to recognize your face and log you in, duplicating the functionality of cameras built into the Microsoft Surface Book and other devices. In a statement announcing the support, the company asserted that its technology improves Windows Hello’s capability to perform facial recognition in a range of lighting conditions, and noted that Windows Hello is now available for peripheral eye tracking products based on the company’s Tobii IS3 platform. Tobii’s eyeX isn’t a dedicated biometric login device, but an “eye mouse” of sorts, a sensor bar that mounts on your laptop or monitor, bouncing light off your retinas to track your eyes as they move over the screen.

Commenting on the support, Tobii president Oscar Werner asserted that “Microsoft’s interest to make Windows Hello work with Tobii eye-tracking devices is a testament to the value, both now and in the future, of our joint ability to enhance the Windows experience for consumers.” It could prove to be a significant development for Tobii. Paying extra to enable biometric authentication might not be ideal, but besides authentication, the Tobii device lets users “point with their eyes” on a display and can be used with games. Hello’s facial recognition capability eliminates the hassle (and it can also use fingerprint readers), but the eyeX is the first third-party device that can bring that capability to older PCs PCWorld is currently testing the eyeX, and so far, the Hello experience with this third-party device appears to be every bit as solid as the cameras in the Surface Book or Surface Pro 4. In so doing, it should help to get more users interested in replacing their passwords with biometric authentication; now that Tobii products support Windows Hello, they too could see rising interest from users and companies curious to explore eye-tracking technology. Tobii Tech, the business unit within Tobii that developed Windows Hello support, is encouraging device makers to take its eye-tracking platform for a spin.

The update was released Wednesday as part of version 2.0.3 of the TobiiX Controller Core firmware, which also reworks the eyeX software into a more consumer-friendly interface. While the company hasn’t taken the world by storm, it has been persistent, and Tobii eye tracking sensors have appeared in laptops from HP, Lenovo, and MSI over the years.

Trying Windows Hello via eyeX, I’ve noticed no difference in the ability of the camera to recognize me, with the same approximate latency of a second or so that the Surface Book’s camera requires. As Tobii highlights, OEMs will could see value in improving the user experience by allowing a person to log in simply by sitting in front of the device. “Technology has a fundamental duty to understand humans better and improve their daily lives. The new software also enables the eyeX camera to control other Windows 10 functions, including the application switcher, Action Center notifications, and even Snap Assist. Other improvements: You can look at a text box on a webpage (Google Chrome natively supports the eyeX eye tracker) and swipe down on your touchpad, and only the box that you’re looking at will shift.

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