Note: All of these images were taken with the Samsung Galaxy S8 that I am testing out.
Windows Hello and its biometric capabilities is one of my favorite Windows 10 features. It would take a high level of subterfuge to defeat this security feature that uses either a scan of your face or your fingerprint to secure your Windows 10 system.
When it comes to Windows Hello and facial recognition, there are only three consumer options for third party cameras that support this feature right now including the Razr Stargazer, the Logitech Brio, and the MouseComputer CM01-A.
However, on the other hand - pun intended, there are many options available in retail channels for fingerprint readers plus even some recent readers that came out before Windows 10 that work just fine with Windows Hello.
You might remember earlier this year when I went hands on with a YubiKey that works with FIDO/U2F sites and Windows Hello. That key was the first device I had ever tested that supported both functions.
Today I started to check out a new offering from Kensington that is also both a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello and also works as a key for you to authenticate supported websites as a universal second factor for authentication.
Like the YubiKey, the VeriMark provides great flexibility if you want both biometric logins and using your fingerprint as a secondary factor of authentication and cost wise it is on par with YubiKey at $49.99 versus $50. Since it combines two fun actions that is a very good price for the capabilities. Additionally, Kensington provides Verimark Password Manager that uses your fingerprint to authenticate and fill in usernames and passwords on websites and file encryption/decryption. Note: This is not necessary to use the key for Windows Hello or second factor authentication.
When I inserted the reader in my HP Spectre x360 laptop running the latest Windows 10 Redstone 3 Build, 16179, I did have to go into the Device Manager and check for drivers but they were quickly found and installed.
After this I added my fingerprint to my account credentials just like you do for any other fingerprint reader in Windows 10 and was ready to go immediately. The response of the sensor when logging in is nearly instantaneous and much faster than my experiences with the YubiKey which requires an app installation to work with Windows Hello.
That responsiveness and the bonus capability of using this for a secondary authentication factor makes this a very attractive device at $50 retail.
Speaking of retail availability, the Kensington VeriMark Fingerprint Key product page shows the device is AWAITING STOCK. My searches of typical retail channels online do not show the device available elsewhere right now.
I have reached out to Kensington for more information and I will update this article once I know about retail availability.
Update: Kensington confirmed for me that the VeriMark Fingerprint Key will be available through online retail channels like Amazon.com by the end of this week. I will update once again when I track down the product page for you.