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MicronPC Boosts Security With Biometrics

One of two new notebook computers from MicronPC comes with a multilayered user-authentication system.
MicronPC LLC is using biometrics to enhance security in one of two wireless notebook computers it launched Monday.

Both the TransPort GX2 and the TransPort XT2 notebook computers include built-in 802.11b wireless networking capabilities. And to address growing security concerns, the TransPort GX2 comes with a multilayered user-authentication system using fingerprint-recognition technology. MicronPC claims it is the first computer manufacturer in the United States to include built-in biometrics-recognition technology in a notebook computer.

Dell Computer also offers biometric security with its notebook and personal computers through Identix Inc., a biometrics authentication product maker, but the scanners are sold separately. Dell doesn't have firm plans to build biometrics technology into its computers, says Alison Rusk, a product manager. "But I would not rule out the possibility," she says.

Biometrics could be a viable security solution for mobile devices, as long as the price is right, says Gartner analyst John Pescatore. "The expense of biometrics is overkill for mass-market business use," he says. "But if MicronPC builds it in for less than $20 in additional costs per device, you'd begin to see adoption. Anything over that you begin to lose the value over passwords."