Synaptics Adds Fingerprint Sensor To Your TouchPad With ‘SecurePad’

We’ve all grown accustomed to the use of TouchPads on notebook computers, and many of you have no doubt used a separate fingerprint scanner (usually embedded in the keyboard deck) on more business-oriented laptops. Well, Synaptics is looking to combine the two technologies with the announcement of its SecurePad solution.

Notebooks will no longer need to feature two separate hardware interfaces, so Synaptics sees this as both a convenience perk for consumers and a cost savings measure for OEMs. In other words, it’s a win-win solution with little (if any downsides) for all parties involved.

The SecurePad features an integrated 4mm x 10mm capacitive sensor (no swiping required) embedded into the TouchPad surface that activates with the touch of your finger (the sensor can also be optionally equipped with LED light guides for visual feedback in low-light environments). It supports 360-degree detection allowing you to place your finger at any angle on the sensor area. In addition, the TouchPad will be available in various form-factors including TouchPad, ForcePad, and ClickPad configurations.

SecurePad Image

Synaptics says that its SecurePad is completely compatible with Fast Identity Online (FIDO), and supports the FIDO Unified Authentication Framework (UAF). Using UAF, notebook users don’t have to create a password and instead rely on fingerprint authentication to register a public/private key pair. The key pair is not only unique to each user account, but also to the laptop and the online services that require the login information.

Synaptics touts the benefits of not having to store a password in the cloud, where it is vulnerable to malicious thieves.

“The introduction of SecurePad demonstrates our continued innovation and brings us one step closer to our ultimate vision of a TouchPad that offers passive and persistent authentication for consumers,” said Godfrey Cheng, who serves as VP of Marketing for Synaptics’ Human Interface Systems Division.

“The growing adoption of fingerprint ID technology gives OEMs the opportunity to implement modern security solutions that give consumers a convenient and easy-to-use method for protecting their data,” added Moor Insight and Strategy principle analyst Patrick Moorhead.

The SecurePad is available now for OEMs to integrate into their upcoming notebook products lines.