March 3, 2014
Fujitsu To Implement Palm Scanning To Keep Smartphones Secure
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Biometrics is increasingly being used in keeping security on mobile devices and Fujitsu plans to put more than just a finger on security for its smartphones. In a statement, the company announced it plans to deploy palm-vein scanning to address security on its mobile devices.
The palm-vein scanning feature will be used specifically in Fujitsu smartphones, SlashGear reports. The company already has experience in developing and using the technology.
Fujitsu's largest smartphone market appears to be in Japan, where it held 11.9 percent of the smartphone market in March of 2012, according to comScore data.
Palm-vein authentication is the identification of an individual by evaluating the palm print plus vein points on a hand. Fujitsu claims the method has a high accuracy rate. Fujitsu has developed the technology under the name PalmSecure.
"The principle behind this relatively less-known biometric is almost the same with fingerprints. Palm patterns are just as unique as a fingerprint, but it is only one half of the equation. The other half involves vein points, which are scanned using near-infrared light and matched against previously recorded patterns and points. There is one key distinction here. Blood needs to be flowing through those veins for palms to match. No disembodied hands here for faking identities. Fujitsu boasts of a 0.0008 percent false positive and a 0.01 percent false rejection rate with this system," SlashGear's JC Torres wrote.
The increasing size of most smartphone screens, combined with the smaller size of the authentication screen is making it possible for the technology to be deployed on smartphones.
"We have been reducing the size of our palm vein authentication units since their initial development," a Fujitsu spokesman said in a ComputerWorld article. "In the future, we hope to eventually have these units embedded into smartphones."
Fujitsu first used the palm-vein authentication technology in a commercial in 2004 when it was used to authenticate users for ATM machines at Japan's Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, CompterWorld reports. The company also implemented in-store scanners at Suruga Bank in 2004. Since that time, development has allowed the scanners to become smaller and have been integrated in laptops and other devices.
A stamp-sized unit was recently released for commercial use and is embedded in a fleet of about 2,000 tablets used by the Fukuoka Financial Group, which includes Bank of Fukuoka, Kumamoto Bank and Shinwa Bank, ComuterWorld reports.
"No one has this technology, and it's significantly more secure than fingerprint," a Fujitsu spokesman was quoted as saying by Computer World.
Fujitsu believes the hand scanners can be used to identify individuals in natural disasters when bank cards and other forms of ID might be unavailable.
While biometrics have continued to advance independently, the authentication technologies have seen increased interest since the Apple iPhone included biometric technology -- namely a fingerprint touch pad -- for its iPhone 5s. Since its integration, there has been increased interest in biometric authentication on smartphones and mobile devices to help deter theft of both devices and data.