Windows Hello is described as a biometrics-based technology that enables Windows 10 users to authenticate secure access to their devices, apps, online services and networks with just a fingerprint scan or facial recognition.
Basically, it allows you to login to your computer by using various biometrics. It’s not exactly new, however. Windows Hello has been available for nearly three years, and other fingerprint login methods have been around for more than fifteen years.
Although fingerprint scanning is cool, it’s something my phone does, therefore it isn’t new to me.
Facial recognition is new to me though. I recently purchased a ThinkPad X1 Carbon from Lenovo’s website as I wanted to customise the device and upgrade the CPU and RAM. There was also an option to upgrade to a Windows Hello IR webcam for $35, which I opted for, despite the computer already having a fingerprint reader.
I mainly use the X1 Carbon at university in approximately ten classes every week, as well as to work on assignments during breaks between classes and travelling on the train. I also use it at home and when meeting with clients. In the span of a week I open the laptop lid more than thirty times, which would mean that I have to type the password in more than thirty times every week (I could remove my password, but I want my device to be secure). This is not the case with Windows Hello. I simply open the lid of the device and it logs me in right away. I barely get a chance to look at the lock screen, it’s that quick!
As it’s an IR camera, the light in your surrounding environment does not affect it. It works well in the sunlight, and it works well in a completely dark room. So far there has only been one instance when it couldn’t recognise me: when I took my glasses off. This isn’t an issue for me, as everything looks blurry when I take my glasses off, so I have to leave them on. However, it may be an issue if you only wear glasses occasionally.
Although the fingerprint reader is decent, I have no regrets paying an extra $35 for the ability to use facial recognition. I’d highly recommend looking into laptop models with facial recognition (or fingerprint recognition) next time you need to update your laptop. It beats typing your password!