Friday, December 03, 2004

Phones that know who you are...

Pantech have just released the first mobile which uses a fingerprint recognition sensor to identify the user. The new Pantech GI100 got a mention over at Gizmodo and Mobile Mag although with the sparse details I guess nobody has actually seen one of these things yet.

From a British perspective there are two glaring problems with the phone's specification. The first is the absense of Bluetooth. Although little thought of over the pond, Bluetooth is everywhere in the UK. My phones, headset, laptop, PDA and GPS unit all talk to each other now, and I wouldn't want to return to the days when they couldn't. Although considering the security flaws that have been discovered in the protocol perhaps this absence is deliberate in what is, after all, supposed to be a "secure" device?

Either way, the crippling flaw is that fact that the phone is only dual band (900 & 1800MHz), making it useless in the States. Nearly every phone sold in the UK these days is tri-band, and most of the higher spec phones are quad band. So why have Pantech taken such an backwards step? The conspiracy theorist in me would attribute this to the fact that, in the current climate, the US would no doubt frown upon such a device. At least one which didn't have a backdoor for law enforcement types. Or perhaps the real reason is that, with all that extra circuitry for the biometrics, there just wasn't room to make the phone quad band?