Windows Hello is facial-recognition and fingerprint-reading biometric authentication technology in Windows 10 that enables users to protect and access their desktop, laptop, or mobile device without needing to enter a password.
Windows Hello debuted with the release of Windows 10 in 2015, but it is still only available on a small number of laptops and desktops, including the Surface Pro 4, Surface Book and select models from Lenovo, Dell, HP and other manufacturers. An external web cam developer kit from Intel is also available for users with older computers that want to add Windows Hello functionality.
Getting Started with Windows Hello
To configure Windows Hello in Windows 10, users need to first select the Windows 10 Start Button, and then select Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. Under the Windows Hello settings in Sign-in options, users can choose face, fingerprint or iris as long as the device supports one or more of these capabilities.
After selecting one of these options, you’ll simply need to move your face in front of the device’s screen or press on the fingerprint sensor to quickly log in and access your device.
A Closer Look at How Windows Hello Works
Once configured, Windows Hello is designed to identify a user’s face, iris or fingerprint and automatically log them in to their PC after they’ve powered on the PC and their face is in view of the computer’s camera (or their finger is on the fingerprint sensor).
The camera used by Windows Hello is not a standard web camera; instead, Windows Hello requires a specific RealSense depth camera module designed by Intel and infrared sensors. The camera uses advanced technology to identify users and can distinguish between an actual user and a picture of the user to prevent hackers from attempting to trick the biometric authentication.
In addition to making the login process much more efficient, Windows Hello can also be used to quickly make purchases through the Windows Store as well as authenticate or authorize payment in apps that support Windows Hello.