External hard disks that plug into USB 2.0 ports are a handy way to move data and applications from one PC to another, but what if somebody swipes the drive? Relax -- your private files will be safe on Micro Solutions Inc.'s LockBox, a portable hard disk with built-in biometric fingerprint security. The two-pound, VCR-tape-sized LockBox has an active imaging sensor that captures high-quality fingerprint patterns using low-power radio frequency electric fields. This technique reads fingerprints below the skin's surface, letting authorized users gain access even when their hands are dry, oily, or calloused.
A green light and audio tone indicate that the user is recognized; a red light signals that access is denied. Up to eight users can be authorized access to a single drive or as many as seven private partitions; administrators can unlock the drive through a password created during initial setup or via Internet-based, emergency unlock service with no pre-registration required. The 7,200-rpm drive is available in 80GB ($199), 120GB ($249), and 200GB ($299) sizes.