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AT&T Points The Finger At In-Store Security

AT&T is letting its sales clerks’ fingers do the walking when it comes to security in a select number of the carrier’s 2,200 retail stores.

AT&T has equipped associates at about 100 locations with Fujitsu LifeBook ultraportable p1620 notebook computers for use as a sales tool and to help facilitate interaction with customers. The mobile PCs allow staffers to provide product, service, accessory or inventory information directly on the sales floor without having to step behind a counter or leave the customer to track down information in a different area of the store.

To prevent system-wide security breaches in the event that a notebook is stolen and user passwords are decoded, the computers employ fingerprint biometrics to permit secure login and data access by store personnel. Besides added security, the system, provided by Wall, N.J.-based Bio-key, also delivers flexibility and convenience on the sales floor.

The lightweight p1620 LifeBook itself features a bi-directional hinge and touch-screen display that makes is appropriate for special-purpose applications that are best suited for a slate tablet.