14 long months after Microsoft first made Windows 10 available to the world, it has started selling third-party Windows Hello-compatible peripherals via its retail and online stores. What took so long?
“BIO-key has launched three new compact USB fingerprint reader accessories, available at Microsoft Stores and microsoftstore.com,” Microsoft’s Anca Ventura writes in a new post to the Windows Experience blog. “These devices enable you to login conveniently and securely to your Windows 10 PC with a simple swipe or touch.”
As noted, there are three options:
SideSwipe Mini Fingerprint Reader. This $40 peripheral is basically a USB nubbin with a fingerprint reader, much like the much less expensive Eikon Mini Fingerprint Reader that I wrote about over three months ago.
SideTouch Fingerprint Reader. Also $40, this version appears to be a better solution than the previous device because it is touch-based (like Touch ID on an iPhone) rather than swipe-based.
EcoID Fingerprint Reader. This device offers a flat box-like design with a fingerprint reader that is tethered to your PC via a USB cable. It is also $40.
As I openly wondered back in June, it’s not clear why we haven’t seen a bigger market of Windows Hello-compatible peripherals appear yet. I’m glad to see these finally show up in Microsoft Store, but this company isn’t exactly a brand name. Where are Microsoft’s Windows Hello peripherals? It just makes no sense.