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April 14, 2019
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After seeing the new Acer Chromebook 714 and 715 at Acer’s event this week, we can finally use the plural Chromebooks when talking about Chrome OS devices with fingerprint scanners. Up to last week, we’d only had the Pixel Slate as the lone Chromebook with biometric support. Now with the addition of the Acer 715 and 714, we now have a total of 3.

A commit surfaced last week, however, that shows clear proof that the upcoming Intel 9th-gen Core-powered Chromebook only known as ‘Hatch’ at this point will also have a fingerprint scanner. You can see in this commit that the language is pretty clear and to the point with the knowledge that “biod” is Chromium Biometric Daemon and “fp” – when referenced in commits – is speaking of a fingerprint:

hatch: enable biod

Enable the biod USE flag to install biod and flash_fp_mcu to the rootfs

BUG=b:124996507

TEST=run build_packages, biod is installed

Additionally, this commit showed up with further proof of the new biometric scanning for ‘Hatch’ being in the testing phase:

hatch_fp: enable fp_sensor task

Development for this mysterious Chromebook is still underway and we’re not sure of a ton of details just yet aside from the fact that it is the first device being made with the latest Intel Comet Lake (9th-gen) processors. This likely means ‘Hatch’ will be a top-tier Chromebook with lots of bells and whistles, so we’re digging around a bit to see what else we can find.

For now, though, it is simply nice to see more Chromebooks getting fingerprint scanners as Google is looking to leverage biometrics across the web more and more for sign ins and authentication across all platforms.

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