Hard to believe but it’s been almost six months since we saw Chrome OS developers begin work on support for fingerprint sensors. With biometric scanners becoming more and more common in mobile and computing devices, it is only natural that this evolution would take place.
The support for fingerprint scanners is not only being added to specific devices but is being baked into Chrome OS in general. This means peripheral support should be inherent for third-party USB scanners as well.
Our good friends over at Chrome Story have recently stumbled across the addition of a new fingerprint option in the Canary channel of Chrome OS. The feature, labeled Quick Unlock (fingerprint), is disabled by default. But, when enabled, the Screen lock feature in settings will add the fingerprint option and setup is very similar to that of scanners you would find on your smartphone.
I’m not going to lie, I am a bit giddy at idea of this feature becoming a reality. My Nexus 6P fingerprint reader is absolutely perfect and I can’t imagine going back to a phone without one. The ability to unlock my Chromebook with my fingerprint would be a very welcome addition.
Another thought just occurred to me. With so many Android Apps adding biometric support, this new feature has a lot more potential than just accessing my device. My Geico app has fingerprint unlock, as does my bank. Using a scanner to access these apps on my Chromebook would be very spiffy, indeed.
I’m sure there is still plenty of work to be done before we see this feature in the Stable channel. Still, it’s exciting to see and I’m very happy to see such progressive development in the world of Chrome OS. I’ll be getting my hands on a USB scanner soon and will report what we find on the functionality of the new Quick Unlock option.