Log in to your Windows 10 PC with your fitness tracker

During Computex, Microsoft showed off an upcoming feature for Windows Hello that lets you log in to your Windows 10 PC with wearable devices.

Pretty soon, your fitness band won’t just track your steps, it could also help you log in to your Windows 10 PC. Microsoft recently announced it would soon extend Windows Hello capabilities to third parties. During Computex on Wednesday, Microsoft showed off using the Microsoft Band and other wearables to unlock a Windows 10 computer, as first reported by The Verge.

The new feature is part of an addition to the Windows Hello Companion Device Framework. We got our first look at the new framework in early April when Microsoft posted some developer documentation online. The basic idea is that when you are near your computer, a companion device like a fitness band or smartwatch can pair up with your PC and authenticate your presence. This can happen any number of ways, including over USB, Bluetooth, NFC, or by performing a special gesture—hardware permitting.

The new wearable-based authentication can also do more than just let you log in. Via Windows Hello, the wearable could also authenticate a purchase at the Windows Store or be used to log in to a website using the upcoming Hello integration with Microsoft Edge.

Why this matters: Figuring out authentication that goes beyond passwords and PINs is a current focus of many technology companies, including Microsoft. Windows Hello already supports biometric authentication via fingerprint readers and retina scans, but not all PCs are equipped with this technology. That’s where the new Hello companion framework comes in as it allows another “password-less” method of authentication for users. It may not stop at just wearables either. Smartphones could also offer Hello compatibility via an app for phone-based authentication.

It’s not clear when the new Windows Hello compatibility for wearables will roll out, but it’s a good bet this will show up with the Anniversary Update when many other new features are expected to land on Windows 10.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Windows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?