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Orange touts Motorola Atrix fingerprint scanner power button

Connect it to a TV with the Linux-based 'webtop'
Wed May 04 2011, 13:57

THERE HASN'T BEEN anything spectacularly innovative from Motorola or its Android devices for some time now, always just a few steps behind Samsung and HTC when it comes to desirability and more importantly, software updates.

But with the release of the Motorola Atrix today, its exclusive supplier Orange is seriously pushing one feature that we haven't seen before in a UK smartphone - a built-in fingerprint reader that doubles as a power button.

Sometimes thought of as something we only see in the realms of science fiction, biometrics have been around for quite a while. Many laptops already carry biometric fingerprint technology, while in Japan a biometric locked smartphone might be considered old hat.

Nevertheless, it does a signal a change from the PIN numbers and finger pattern security we've been used to. Although you might consider that these methods are still pretty difficult to break into, most thieves would simply get through something like this by wiping the phone if they weren't too interested in getting personal data.

Another feature that blurs the boundary between a laptop and a smartphone on the Atrix is a multimedia dock accessory, which you can use to connect the phone to a TV and run something called 'webtop', which is a Linux-based OS separate from Android. Here you can surf the web and use other features, as long as it's in the webtop environment.

Available at the price of other high-end smartphones, the Motorola Atrix brings up the question of whether the addition of these fancy new bits of tech can persuade people to leave their Iphones and take their eyes away from the array of choices when it comes to devices running the Android OS. µ


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