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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

The Biometric Wallet


Fingers

Hitachi and Fujitsu have pioneered a new technique in which a person's vein configurations are scanned as proof of identity, and the technology is being integrated into ATMs all over the world.

Far more ambitious are plans to adopt the biometric technology to replace PINs, bank cards, and even wallets, supporting a true virtualization of money. Hitachi's finger-vein scanner involves a user inserting a bank card, and then placing his finger into a notch in the ATM. The finger is exposed to near-infrared light so the camera records an image of the digit's veins, which is compared to a registered template for match verification. To address security concerns, Hitachi created the match-on-card system, in which the customer's biometric template is housed on his bank card. Fujitsu's scanner reads the vein patterns of the user's palm by bouncing light off the palm and using a sensor to record the light that it not absorbed by the veins.

Work is underway at Fujitsu Laboratories to meet the challenge of one-to-many matching, in which the system can compare an individual customer's vein-pattern data to the templates for everyone enrolled in the program and rapidly and accurately find the correct match. Fujitsu Labs also has developed software that sorts through 5 million templates and correctly identifies the individual in 1.34 seconds.

From IEEE Spectrum 
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