There aren’t many devices on the market with the right camera technology to take advantage of the Windows Hello facial recognition feature in Windows 10. The new Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, however, are among the few that do have capable cameras, so I was able to go through and set it up on my Surface Pro 4.
The in-a-nutshell, TL:DR version is, “It couldn’t possibly be any easier.”
To begin, you click the Start button—then Settings—then Accounts. On the left pane of the Accounts settings you will see Sign-In Options. Click or tap that.
Scroll down a bit and you will see the section for Windows Hello. Click or tap the “Setup” button under Face.
First it asks you to enter your PIN to authenticate that you’re really you.
Windows 10 will activate the camera and scan / analyze your face. It directs you to just look straight at the screen. It takes all of 3 seconds, and voila! Windows Hello facial recognition is set up and activated. You can click “Improve Recognition” to conduct additional scans and analysis of your face that will ostensibly improve the accuracy of the Windows Hello facial recognition.
Once activated, Windows Hello is very fast—essentially instantaneous. If I lock the Surface Pro 4 or approach the Surface Pro 4 while it’s locked it recognizes my face and logs me in to the device immediately.
Now, I just need some sort of desktop webcam compatible with Windows Hello that I can use to log in with facial recognition while sitting at my desk. When the Surface Pro 4 is docked it’s off to the side where it can’t readily scan my face or log me in using Windows Hello.
That minor issue aside, Windows Hello is pretty awesome and could potentially deliver the password-free future Microsoft promises in its Windows 10 commercials.
Do you want to see just how fast Windows Hello is? Check out this video I created to demonstrate the mind-blowing speed of the Windows Hello experience: