Microsoft’s Biometric Keyboard Meets Consumer Demand

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Earlier this summer, Microsoft unveiled a new keyboard designed specifically to complement its new privacy security features in Windows 10. Simply called the Modern Keyboard, it contains one handy feature: a biometric fingerprint reader embedded in one of the keys. Presumably, all the user has to do is store the fingerprint upon first using the keyboard–much like consumers already store fingerprints in their smartphone TouchID sensors–and the keyboard will then comply with additional safety requirements for certain tech activity.

A recent survey conducted by MYPINPAD found some surprising results from consumers. According to its Consumer Trust and Mobile Payments Growth survey, “the company says that 67 percent of respondents expressed concern about online security, and 61 percent said that reports of data breaches had ‘impacted their trust of online shopping and banking.’ Forty percent of respondents said that banks and businesses could improve trust by using a cardholder PIN for authentication, while 50 percent said they ‘would like to use a combination of both PIN and biometrics’.”

That shift to biometrics is all well and good when consumers are using a store-branded ATM or POS system, for example, that contains one or multiple biometric scanners. But how do you maintain that level of account security and login credential at home or on your mobile device? Incorporated tech such as fingerprint sensors can not only offer users another layer of security, but can also mean that even smaller retailers can take advantage of additional authentication processes without having to invest in a security overhaul.

If Modern Keyboard–or its soon-to-be expected competitors–can prevent access to a payment screen until the user “passes the test,” so to speak, then smaller companies can still compete on a more level playing field with corporations that can afford stronger security protocols.

This advancement comes about at a time when consumer interest in biometrics as a security feature is reaching an all-time high. A recent study found that US consumers fear identity theft and bank fraud even more than terrorism; that’s a logical fear considering data breaches are on track to reach a never-before-seen record number in 2017, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.


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