Computer security remains critically important, especially when in public places. Fingerprint readers are increasingly being used as a solution, but once computer users logs in using such a system, they must then remember to log out every time they walk away from the computer for even a few seconds.
ProxLok is out to provide a better solution. It’s a proximity-based biometric login device that plugs into a computer via USB. It comes equipped with a fingerprint reader and uses Bluetooth to detect the presence of the computer user’s cellphone. When the computer user walks a few feet away from the computer, the device automatically locks the computer screen. If users don’t have their cellphones with them, after logging in, ProxLok will warn them that it can’t detect their cellphones and ask if they want it to periodically request a fingerprint scan to keep them logged onto the computer. ProxLok costs $179 and ships in November. Its maker is hoping to raise $175,000 by June 17.
Proximity technology has been used in several products already, including Loxet, which automatically locks a car as soon as the driver walks away from it. ProxLok’s most obvious flaw is that many computer users are smart enough not to walk away from their computer when they are in a public place. However, there’s always that quick excursion to the cafe bathroom for which it may defend against prying eyes at least until more smartwatches can implement these features.