Forgotten your PIN numbers and passwords? Help is at hand - literally. Chips that directly scan the centre of your finger will bring security to IT gadgets everywhere.
It's easier to scan part of a finger than capturing the pattern of a complete hand, eye, face or voice, and Sony, Veridicom and Infineon are all getting in on the act to turn your own digit into your everlasting password.
The 2cm square chips store a tiny electrical charge and team up with your finger to form a direct current capacitor. In a split second, your loops, pores and ridge-endings are turned into a pretty eight-bit greyscale image that is unique to you.
Even the 25% of people with calloused or dirty hands can still point their fingers. AuthenTec of Melbourne, Florida, has come up with devices that read only the live area of skin that lies beneath the surface, even through grime. At dollars 25 each, you can expect to see them on mobiles and laptops very soon.