Microsoft Modern Keyboard Adds Fingerprint Authentication For Windows Hello Logins

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Microsoft has quietly launched a new keyboard for desktop computers (or your docked notebook/convertible). Called the Modern Keyboard, the peripheral is an evolution of the existing Surface Keyboard with two key differences.

The first is the integration of biometric authentication. Microsoft has incorporated what it calls a hidden fingerprint sensor or “Fingerprint ID” on the aluminum keyboard. We don’t know if we can really call it hidden given that the dedicated sensor is embedded into a key that is etched with a representative fingerprint. As you might expect, this functionality integrates with Windows Hello in Windows 10, allowing you to unlock your computer with a single keypress.

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This would allow users that don’t have a webcam integrated into their notebook or desktop monitor the ability to take advantage of quickly logging in to their device with the need for typing in a long and complex password.

For its second “trick”, the Modern Keyboard includes a detachable USB cable, which allows you to use it in wired mode. Of course, you can still use it with a wireless Bluetooth connection if you prefer. However, you’ll need to plug in to top off the two included rechargeable AAA batteries when your juice is running low. Microsoft says that batteries will last roughly two months per charge.

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In addition to the Modern Keyboard, Microsoft has also announced the Modern Mouse, which is styled similarly to the existing Surface Mouse. Unlike the Modern Keyboard, however, the Modern Mouse can only be used wirelessly.

The Modern Keyboard and Modern Mouse are priced at $129.99 and $49.99 respectively. Both are listed as “Coming Soon” on Microsoft’s website.