In another move to keep up with options available in the Pocket PC market, Sony will release a biometric scanner “Puppy” in a Memory Stick form factor in February.
As you can see it’s the same size as a standard memory stick, so you must use an extention for it to work with current PDAs. For devices that rely on the Duo memory stick slot, the biometric part will hang out to provide easy access. I just hope it’s easy to use, because I found it to be quite troublesome to get the iPAQ h5450 to recognize my finger. The HP even comes with a nice little tutorial on how to properly scan your finger(s). Maybe my fingers are malformed…
Toshiba and Panasonic have been working on this technology for the secure digital format, but Sony will be the first to market with this type of device. The Sony stick will identify authorized PDA owners using the public key infrastructure (PKI). The data will then be stored on the card itself.
Most of you won’t need anything like this and to be honest I’m not really sure why Sony’s even making these. They really don’t play in the enterprise market, where you might expect an add-on like this to catch on. Perhaps it’s different in Japan, where this unit will first be released. Like the Memory Stick Bluetooth card, it’s possible it won’t even make it to the US.