Dell Adding Next Biometrics Fingerprint Sensors To Commercial, Ruggedized Tablets And Notebooks

We recently spoke at length with the founder and CEO of Next Biometrics, Tore Etholm-Idsøe, about his company's unique take on biometric security using a technology called the Active Thermal Principle. He told us at the time that Next Biometrics was working on a major deal with an unnamed OEM -- project "Jupiter" -- and now, that has come to fruition.

Dell is the mystery partner, and it will be implementing Next Biometric sensors into 1.2 million ruggedized notebooks and tablets. Next Biometrics expects multiple product launches yet this year.

CEO of Next Biometrics, Tore Etholm-Idsøe

The company has delivered some 15,000 sensors to Dell thus far, and in a webcast, Etholm-Idsøe stated that those sensors have passed all their tests. He further expects that the order from Dell will eventually exceed that initial 1.2 million (although he would not estimate how much more). The sensor that Dell is using is the large 12 x 17 mm (NB-1010-U), which was used in the Madrid Report study.

The Active Thermal Principle works by detecting the warmth of your finger when you press it on the sensor. The peaks and valleys of your fingerprint create a unique thermal read, and the 45,000 pixels on the sensor read that heat to authenticate you as a user.

Active Thermal Principle

Next Biometrics is qualified for Windows Hello biometric authentication on Windows 10, so these upcoming Dell devices will offer that functionality at least via the fingerprint sensor.

The company did not specify which Dell models would ship with its sensors on board.


Seth Colaner is the News Director at Tom's Hardware. He curates and edits the news channel and also writes on a variety of topics. He would have become a professional ultimate Frisbee player, but he was born 15 years too early. 

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