Vein Patterns Could Replace Fingerprints and Retinas as Secure ID

Finger vein identification might usurp fingerprints and retinas as the most secure form of ID, and companies in Europe have already begun to introduce an advanced biometric system from Japan.  In fact, this system has already been in place at thousands of Japanese ATMs for 2 years. The finger vein ID system, developed by Hitachi, verifies a person’s identity based on the pattern of minute blood vessels under the skin.

Near-infrared light is transmitted at various angles through the finger to capture the pattern. The light is partially absorbed by hemoglobin in the veins, and a camera captures the image. The pattern is saved as a digital code, which is then matched with a pre-registered profile to verify a person’s identity.

Because the veins are inside the body and invisible to the naked eye, Hitachi claims that finger vein identification is extremely difficult to forge and impossible to manipulate. You might wonder if a criminal could simply cut off someone else’s finger and use it to gain access, but the blood flowing out would make it impossible. The technology is also less expensive than retina or face scanning.

Anyone notice how this technology is rolling out so slowly, and we’re being told again and again that it’s for our own good, so the public is fairly accepting of it? It’s pretty intrusive. I’m not sure that we’re too far from the days when the government will be able to track our every move. Of course, I’m a bit more paranoid than most and a huge fan of dystopian literature and films. But still… creepy, no?

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