Literal wave of hands could soon replace passwords

World leader in computing innovation Intel this week at an event in San Francisco unveiled a technology that could replace use of passwords to access Web-based accounts including those for online banking, social networking sites and emails.

The invention, which involves the literal wave of hand, would take effect if Intel manages to make it compatible for laptops and tablets.

Intel says the invention would offer cyber security solutions including preventing hacking and identifying theft on online platforms such as the social media and mobile banking.

Speaking at Intel’s annual Developer Forum, Intel’s director of security research Sridhar Iyengar said passwords pose a big problem as too many of them are in use, which come with complex rules that often differ for different websites.

Sridhar pointed that the only way out in phasing out passwords is going biometric.

Following a demonstration from a live online feed, a quick wave of the hand in front of a tablet without touching it, the tablet recognises the user whereas it can securely communicate the person’s identity to banks, social networks and other services that need password input.

“Making laptops, tablets and smartphones capable for identifying users would take that requirement away from individual websites and do away with the need to individually enter passwords into each of them,” Sridhar said.

As focus is on finding solutions for future technology problems by microchip companies, the company’s chief technology officer Justin Rattner showed a prototype technology to improve cellphone base stations and to efficiently and wirelessly connect devices such as printers, tablets and monitors throughout the home.

The microchip has Wi-Fi technology made with digital circuitry instead of analog, a development that has the potential to lead to major improvements in performance and efficiency.

Opposed to some of the current fingerprint scanners found on laptops today, Sridhar said the technology is “far much better” adding that the palm-reading technology as it is still under development, requires new software and biometric sensors built into consumer devices although it does not require development of any new kind of chips.

Held each year, Intel Developer Forum (IDF) brings together high-tech industry developers, executives, designers and engineers, to share their latest innovations and vision for the future of technology.

This year’s event held in San Francisco, United States, demonstrated how developers can take advantage of the latest innovations in hardware, software and services to help enable the best user experiences on Intel architecture — from the cloud to devices.

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