MyFlash Fingerprint Disk FP1 Reviewskinny - December 14, 2006
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
What was once possible only in the realm of Star-Trek, or maybe Maxwell Smart, is now more than just possible, it is becoming a part of our day-to-day society. Biometrics can be defined as using unique human physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, eyes, or facial patterns, to identify individuals, usually for security purposes. In this age of high-technology and even higher security, these devices are becoming more readily available to the public. Such devices can now fit in your pants pocket.
This brings me to the MyFlash Fingerprint Disk, produced by A-Data Technology. This is a standard size USB 2.0 flash drive, but includes the security of a fingerprint swipe system. I must say, when I first saw this little item, I was skeptical about its reliability. I mean, the government has been talking for years about using biometrics for security at places such as airports, but has been unable to implement a system that works and is cost efficient. But I, as a consumer, can purchase, for a reasonable price, a reliable, secure, fingerprint recognition system? I was pondering the government and how it always seems to be years behind, and then it happened. “Fingerprint Device Not Registered”… I will explain shortly.
A-Data Technology was founded in 2001 in Taiwan. In only five years, the company has won numerous awards for their technological innovations, and has been ranked in the Top 5 worldwide in the areas of DRAM modules and Flash Drives. They also produce flash memory cards and readers along with MP3 players.
The MyFlash Fingerprint Disk is available with storage capacities of 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, and 2GB, the last of which is the size being reviewed. It comes packaged in a small clear plastic case that has a pleasantly styled cardboard insert with a fingerprint background. I suggest having a sharp knife available when you open it, because it is heat stamped around the edges, making it impossible to open without a sharp object. I thought it was the drive that was supposed to be impossible to get into, not the packaging.
Once you get the package open, you will find the cardboard insert which lists the product specs in ten languages. Included is a small CD-ROM, which is required for use on computers running anything prior to Windows XP, and there is a nice shiny silver USB cord, which is only about 2 feet long. And last, but definitely not least, you have the Fingerprint Disk (commonly known as a flash drive, jump drive, USB stick, thumb drive, etc).
The drive is similar in size to most other flash drives I have seen. It comes with a sleeve that covers the USB plug, the fingerprint sensor, and the LED indicator. The entire case is made of smooth white plastic, but has some small bumps on the sleeve to grip when removing the sleeve from the drive. When looking at the drive, and in particular the fingerprint sensor, all you see is a small black rectangle with a smaller gold-colored rectangle inside it. The sensor does not look like anything special, but it sure appeared to work well. While I have seen some very cheap looking and feeling USB drives, I was quite impressed with this one. It feels quite sturdy, yet lightweight, and it looks very professional.
This drive will work on any computer with a USB port running Windows 98/98SE, Windows 2000, or Windows ME/XP.