Chromebooks will soon be compatible with biometric authentication
Chrome OS is getting support for fingerprint scanners, according to Chrome Unboxed who observed a Chromium OS commit log with the following description:
“This sets up interrupt line used by the fingerprint sensor on Gru. Note that spidev driver does not use it, but the real driver will.”
That news broke in September 2016, but now it appears that the code is ready for testing. Chrome OS Canary version 58.0.3015.0 comes with a flag detailing the “fingerprint quick unlock” feature that “allows you to setup and use a fingerprint to unlock your Chromebook on the lock screen after you have signed into your device.”
As of now, Chromebooks do not have built-in fingerprint scanners, so the only way to test this feature will be for users to purchase a fingerprint scanner accessory. This update does suggest Chromebooks may include the feature down the line as biometric authentication becomes the faster and more convenient security measure on electronic devices.
This feature could be used not only to unlock devices, but also for accessing Android apps that support fingerprint authentication. Chrome 58 is scheduled to be available for all platforms on the stable channel sometime in April.