Using Veins for Security

Biometrics is the science of measuring and analyzing inherent human characteristics for authentication purposes.

Traditionally, technologies have already been developed to use finger print, the iris and retina of the eye, geometry of the face, odour and gait in establishing the identity of the person. Another recent innovation of this industry is the vein scanning technology which defines the usage of blood vessels’ visibility and patterns for biometric security system application.

Let’s cover some of the important points in using this new technology:

  1. Ingenuity of the human vein. The possibility of using blood vessels, specifically the human vein, in biometrics technology was first introduced in 1992 by Japanese researchers. These scientists were actually drawn into the applicability of veins due to its three important features.
  • First, veins are universal in all human beings. This is because of the fact that the task of carrying oxygen-depleted blood from various parts of the body back to the heart is completed by veins.
  • Second, vein patterns in the finger and hands are scientifically proven to be unique for each individual.
  • Lastly, the properties of veins with respect to size, pattern and appearance are virtually permanent from birth to death. Exceptions only occur when a person encounters diseases like cancer or arteriosclerosis.
  1. Veins as biometrics tool. Biometric locks for personal recognition have rapidly evolved in the past decade due to the increasing cases of identity theft. This happened because previous technologies like finger print detection are now easily circumvented by hackers. Hence, a novel approach is necessary and such need is satisfied by the introduction of vein technology. Although this technology is still undergoing final large-scale evaluations, preliminary data have shown that vascular pattern data won’t be susceptible to information duplication since the profile of the veins are safe underneath the human’s skin. Also, specifications of the technology which permit contact-less transaction omits the possibility of obtaining mark traces on machine surfaces, an event that can lead to data forgery.
  2. At present, only carpal body parts are used in the vein scanning technology. These are the hands and the veins. Specific descriptions of the two are discussed below.
  • Hand vascular pattern. Machines for vein scanning technology allow the analysis of the palm or back part of the hands. In this method, light emitting diodes from the machine send near-infrared light to the hands. The light rays that reach the veins of the hand are absorbed at varying rates thereby creating a pattern that is perceived by the machine’s detector. Image processing techniques are then implemented to produce visible vein outline. This data along with the owner’s name, ID and other pertinent profile is then stored in the technology’s software databank.
  • Finger vein pattern. Instead of subjecting a whole hand for vascular image processing, this type of vein analysis requires only the usage of fingers. Any of the fingers of the right or left hand or a combination of two or three fingers can be used to establish a unique vascular pattern in the machine’s data bank. This way, the probability of counterfeiting the validation activity is further reduced.

Companies seeking a novel method of protecting their intellectual data or financials can assess the relevance of this technology in providing better security. And having vendors discussed their different products for biometric security system can provide a better support when deciding to use the vein scanning technology.

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