Chrome OS has evolved quite a bit over the past few years, adding Material Design, new features, and most notably, Android app support. In the background, though, Google has also slowly been changing how some core functions of Chrome OS work. Recently we saw the company add a PIN unlock option to the developer channel, and now it seems that it is working on adding another log-in method: fingerprint sensors…

Chrome Unboxed recently uncovered a new commit within Chromium repositories which shows that Google is actively experimenting with fingerprint sensors on Chrome OS. This feature could show up on an upcoming Chromebook codenamed “Kevin,” although there is no evidence to show that this machine will utilize a fingerprint sensor.

That said, the work being done does suggest that the functionality could be coming in the future, something that was likely inevitable seeing the popularity of fingerprint sensors on Android devices and iPhones, as well as all of the new Windows laptops (and upcoming MacBooks) shipping with sensors.

How will fingerprint sensors be used on Chrome OS? The obvious answer is for unlocking the device, but we could also see the ability to lock and unlock certain apps or settings and more — just like Android. Currently, there’s no timeframe for when these sensors will appear on consumer Chromebooks, but it’s only a matter of time at this point.

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Ben Schoon

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