IDF 2012: Intel working to eliminate need for wires and passwords

Intel IDF

Intel is aiming to usher in an era of wireless computing and is looking to push biometric authentication in place of passwords.

Justin Rattner, senior fellow and corporate vice president and director of Intel Lab, told attendees how the firm plans to use WiGig, a wireless standard to connect PCs, tablets and Ultrabooks without the need for wires.

The technology will use the 60GHz part of the spectrum and is expected to deliver bandwidths well over 5Gbps, Rattner claimed.

Ali Sadri, president of WiGig Alliance joined Rattner on stage to explain the benefits of the standard.

"Legacy Wi-Fi devices operate in the 2.4/5GHz spectrum, [but] the interference is high. For high demanding applications such as video, synchronisation and multi-user apps we need to move into a frequency that has a lot less interference," he said.

Sadri noted that the WiGig certification program will start mid-next year and products are expected to ship soon after.

Meanwhile, Intel is looking to offer users an alternative to traditional passwords, much like Microsoft will do with its Windows 8 picture passwords.

Intel Labs is working on Client Based Authentication Technology, which uses biometrics to scan vein patterns in the palm a user's hand.

This will allow users to access devices such as a tablet or Ultrabooks by simply waving their hand in front of the sensor.

Intel is also looking to take this one step further. Not only will the biometric sensor provide access to a device, the plan is to enable users to authenticate to cloud services. In theory this will enable access to online bank account details without needing to enter a separate password.

To prevent unauthorised access to sensitive information, the system will work in conjunction with the accelerometer built into the device. When a tablet is put down, for example, the system will recognise this and will automatically lock the screen.

There is no word on the release date, but the biometric system could be debuted in 2013.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.