New ID System Scans Finger's Veins, Not Prints

Hitachi system is faster, more secure than fingerprinting, retinal scans
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2008 3:52 PM CST
The BioAxxis BD1, fingerprint deadbolt in Satin Nickel.   (PRNewsFoto/BioAxxis Development Corporation)
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(Newser) – A new technology that scans finger veins to authenticate identity claims to be quicker and more reliable than fingerprinting, retinal scans, or facial recognition, the Times of London reports. Japanese company Hitachi's system shines infrared light through the network of capillaries in the index finger, capturing a unique 3D “vein profile” that's converted into a simple code.

Backers say the technology makes it impossible for would-be criminals to create forgeries or, in a more gruesome scenario, to use severed fingers. Hitachi says its system, already being incorporated into ATMs, door locks, and computer protections in Japan, costs less than retinal scanning or facial recognition. One leading European biometrics firm recently announced it would be incorporating vein profiles into many of its door access systems.