Compaq Fingerprint Identification Technology - The Password They'll Never Forget reads the box of my new fingerprint scanner that I bought the other day from BigPockets. To start with I was very sceptical about how this thing would actually perform, but I saw it had been knocked down from £100 to £20, and paying £100 would usually mean you're getting a good quality item. So I went ahead and ordered one...
There she is... (excuse the mess!)
These are the hardware components of the reader. On the left you have the little bracket (complete with sticky pads) for sticking your reader somewhere. After that you have the actual scanner, quite a small little thing, but never the less looks good. On the right you have all the required cabling to get this baby on the road. It uses your parallel port (I know this is going to be a problem for some of you with the Cheap VFDs) and also has a passthrough for your keyboard aswell. I.e. You plug your keyboard into the lead, and then in turn plug the lead into the keyboard socket on your board.
Here is all the documentation and the software that you get with the thing. The size of the manual makes you think youve bought something really complex, although on further investigation you will realise that its just in a *few* different languages :)
Now all you have to do is plug the thing in, its very simple, and theres a quick connect guide to show you how. It can literally be done in under 30s.
This item is not actually a scanner, it is like a video camera but the optics inside prevent it from detecting anything other than what is touching the surface.
There she is in situe on my desk - ph34r my 6210 :P
This is the "ready for scanning" state (neeed bl00 mod)
Nows you gotta install the software from the included CD, remember to install the BioLogon thing if you want to use this to logon to windows. Anyway, once you have installed the software from the CD you need to click the following link to download the updated driver if you are using XP. Here.
Once you have got all the software installed and restart it should display the BioLogon logon screen instead of the usual windows one. You lose the fancy XP logon screen with this, which I consider to be a disadvantage, im sure it will be sorted in the future though. Anyway, when you get to the BioLogon dialog for the first time you will need to type your password because you have not yet added your fingerprint. Once logged on, all you have to do is hit Alt-Ctrl-Del and click 'Enrol Fingerprint' then follow the wizard. This will allow you to logon with the fingerprint.
Here is a scanned fingerprint - as you can see its very good quality
Overall, I think this is a very cool little toy. It is definatley worth the 20 squids IMO but I can see how it might not appeal to some people. I also think it has a lot of mod potential, because its so small it could be mounted inside a keyboard or a case door or whatever. I can see myself modding it into something in the not too distant future ;). Another thing I want to try is the changing of the LEDs to a different colour, I think it will work exactly the same as an optical mouse does when you change the LEDs.
Ok, IMO its a good product for £20 - get one now!!
They are in the 'Clear Out Corner' at BigPockets but while you're there, have a look around, they have some other good schtuffs too.