This past year was an exciting one: we saw even more great Windows 10 devices introduced to our customers that take advantage of the password-free security benefits of Windows Hello. Built in to Windows 10, Windows Hello takes away the hassle of remembering passwords and minimizes security risks for millions of Windows customers. With Windows Hello, you can simply and uniquely use your face, fingerprints, or a PIN to quickly and more securely sign-in to your Windows 10 device.
Over the last year, one of our top priorities was to make this technology available on the widest variety of devices. Today, Windows Hello can be used on nearly every Windows 10 device in the world natively with a PIN or integrated biometric sensor or with an accessory. In fact, during the 2016 holiday season we counted nearly 100 unique biometric-enabled Windows devices and accessories available across all form factors, including laptops, all-in-ones, 2-in-1s, tablets, phones and peripherals.
While using Windows Hello with devices that include embedded biometric sensors is a great way for consumers and enterprises to get password-free security, companion experiences can also provide greater security and convenience enabled with Windows Hello. Since first announcing the companion device framework at Build 2016, we have had more than 20 partners join our efforts to make passwords a thing of the past. By opening the Windows Hello companion device framework to the hardware industry, our partners are delivering differentiated and innovative Windows Hello devices that meet the needs of both consumers and businesses, including those in heavily regulated industries.
Here’s a glimpse into a handful of companion devices for both consumer and business scenarios.
The Nymi Band is a wearable Windows Hello companion device that allows you to sign into your Windows 10 device without a password. Just walk up to your PC wearing the Nymi Band, tap the band to express your intent, and then you’ll be quickly signed into your device. The band does this after Nymi’s HeartID™ technology confirms it’s actually you using your heartbeat and their unique electrocardiogram (ECG) based authentication technology. You can read more about the Nymi Band solution here.
The YubiKey from Yubico is a USB connected Windows Hello companion hardware device. By plugging the device into a USB port, the device allows you to quickly and more securely unlock your Windows device. The YubiKey is an inexpensive, practically indestructible device and can support additional two-factor authentication, including NFC, making the YubiKey a great solution for today and the future. You can read more about the Yubikey solution here.
RSA SecurID Access Authenticator
The RSA SecurID Access Authenticator turns existing devices that almost everyone owns into a Windows Hello companion device. The RSA SecurID Access Authenticator app runs on your mobile device and it can remotely sign you into your Windows 10 PC based on your proximity to the device or through the entry of a PIN or biometric verification from the app, depending on certain risk factors. You can read more about the RSA solution here.
HID Global Seos card
You might be familiar with HID Global whose cards are used by organizations around the world for IT authentication, building access, time and attendance, and cashless payments. HID Global’s Seos card is an NFC-based companion device that enables you to tap to unlock Windows Hello. By using your employee badge as your Windows companion device, you get the added convenience of using something that you already have with you. A high assurance version of the HID Global card also supports digital signing and encryption based on NIST standards. You can read more about the HID Seos solution here.
Windows Hello is changing the way we interact and authenticate our devices, apps, and web services. Together with our partners, companion devices using Windows Hello will further empower our customers to have more secure, password-free experiences. Our growing partner community building innovative companion devices understands that Windows Hello conforms to industry and government standards like FIDO, now endorsed by governments, making Windows Hello and companion devices a safer bet for customers and the partner community alike.
Partners who are interested in discussing the opportunities for Windows Hello companion devices can get in touch with our team at: [email protected].
*Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensors and capable devices.