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Fujitsu shows off a tablet prototype with a built-in palm reader (hands-on)

Dana Wollman, @danawollman
March 5, 2013
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To be honest, CeBIT is a fairly sleepy tech show, especially compared to Mobile World Congress, which just wrapped last week. For Fujitsu's part, the outfit already showed off its 5-inch smartphone and GPS cane (aka the best thing we've seen so far this year). But the company did keep at least one trick up its sleeve: a tablet with a built-in palm reader. If you recall, we knew a year ago that Fujitsu was working on a tablet that could scan the palm as a form of authentication, but we've never actually seen a finished product, or even a functioning prototype. Until today, of course. Meet us after the break for a closer look.

Gallery: Miix 2 10 hands on design | 31 Photos

So here we are. This thing has a 10-inch screen, though its dimensions are considerably larger than on any other 10-incher, as its housing has to accommodate that palm reader. As it happens, though, Fujitsu is already developing a sensor small enough that it could be built into the tablet itself, most likely in the upper bezel. Even so, that won't be ready until at least the end of the year, says a Fujitsu rep. For now, then, the device comes bundled inside a plastic and magnesium enclosure, and the tablet itself will be the same Arrows V F-04E we showed you last week. (It will be sold under the Stylistic, not Arrows, brand in Europe.)

Like other proofs-of-concept with Fujitsu's PalmSecure technology, you don't actually have to lay your hand on the sensor to make it work -- hovering above it will work just fine. As with a fingerprint sensor, you'll be required to recreate the same hand motions several times as a way of setting up a user profile. In the case of palm-reading, though, you can also register both a right and left hand -- as you can see in our video below, the system will most certainly reject you if you offer the wrong one.

In terms of pricing and availability, well, we definitely don't have a price, but Fujitsu did indicate it would arrive in Japan first, followed by Europe in June. Oh, and given that its main selling point is a security feature, you can bet it'll be sold to businesses over consumers. If you don't live in Japan and aren't working for The Man, we've got some photos and video below which should hopefully satisfy your curiosity.

Dan Cooper contributed to this report.

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