Hitachi has developed a finger vein authentication system that does not require specialized hardware, using an ordinary smartphone camera with software processing to validate the identity of a user.
This is the first time that such a solution has been demonstrated, Hitachi said, and the implication is that it can be used to easily the identity of returning customers for online shopping.
The finger vein authentication system was among a host of other innovations demonstrated on the exhibition show floor of the company’s Social Innovation Forum 2016 held this week in Tokyo, Japan.
The company aims to introduce its new finger vein authentication system for online shopping and financial transactions within a few years.
At the moment, the system entails the use of an authentication app that takes a photo to read the vein patterns and compares it with pre-registered data. Several fingers are authenticated for greater security and higher accuracy, and by leveraging on the color recognition technology to detect the finger veins quicker, the process takes around one second.
This makes it faster than the traditional user-ID and password systems, which forces users to remember a password. Moreover, the use of vein patterns is also considered as more secure as they are more difficult to forge or spoof compared to other biometric methods such as fingerprint, facial recognition or voiceprint.
This is because finger veins hardly change, and are also unlikely to be counterfeit, according to company officials. This makes them perfect for integration into even lower-end smartphones without dedicated fingerprint scanners.