Fujitsu loves biometric authentication. The company makes the palm scanners you see in Japan’s ATMs, it puts fingerprint scanning in its cellphones, and since 2011 it’s been offering palm scanning in its laptop computers. Unlike the big plastic square of yore, a new version of the laptop scanner is roughly the size of a webcam module; small enough to fit comfortably between the computer’s trackpad buttons.

Fujitsu says that the scanner is secure enough that it can be used to authenticate users on its own, with no need for a separate password. We tried it ourselves, and to the device’s credit it didn’t mistake us for the Fujitsu rep. Next to the palm-scanning laptop we also spotted a Windows tablet with the module, and Fujitsu added that there is a possibility we’ll see it on the company’s Android tablets in the future. When we asked when we could expect a commercial version of the laptop we were told that within the year would be "a little tight," so we’re probably looking at sometime in 2013 at the earliest.