Sony is moving from taking biometrics from the surface of the finger to using internal finger veins with a new authentication technology that could appear in mobile devices within a year.
The compact, camera-based system, called Mofiria, uses a CMOS sensor to capture light scattered diagonally through finger veins. Data from the pattern is compressed, making it possible for the information to be stored on gadgets such as laptops or mobile phones.
Sony says vein-authentication technology achieves higher accuracy and produces faster reads than other biometric authentication techniques, such as fingerprint or retinal scans. Finger-vein patterns differ from person to person and finger to finger, Sony noted, and do not change over the years. Also, unlike passwords, they do not need to be remembered.
Sony says false rejection rate for the system is less than 0.1 percent and processing time for identification takes only about 0.015 seconds using a personal computer CPU and about 0.25 seconds using a mobile-phone CPU.
Last year, Fujitsu introduced a palm-reading mouse that scans veins rather than fingertips — a method the company also claims is faster and more effective.
Meanwhile, Hitachi has been working on bringing its vein-authentication technology to steering wheels, fitting them with a biometric reader that only starts the engine for drivers with recognisable vein patterns. The system is used already in ATMs, computers and cardless-payment systems.