Fujitsu develops palm-vein tech for mobile devices
11 January 2017 14:55 GMT

Japan’s Fujitsu has announced development of a slide-style palm vein authentication technology that is compact enough to be equipped to future tablets and other handheld mobile devices.

The firm noted in a statement that as tablets and other small-scale mobile devices have become widespread, there has been interest in embedding an optical unit for vein authentication into the narrow frames of such devices, but making the optical unit smaller had been difficult.

Fujitsu Laboratories said it has now taken strides to overcome this issue. It has succeeded in developing a compact illumination component that lights up a rectangular target area with a uniform intensity using a single LED.

“This was achieved by using a new compound optical element that applies the phenomenon of diffraction”, said the firm.

 The company has also developed a new verification technology that captures the complete pattern of a palm's veins, dividing the pattern into slices as the hand passes over the optical unit, which at a mere 8 mm wide is able to be embedded into the frames of compact mobile devices.

"As a result, palm vein authentication-with its superior characteristics, including highly accurate authentication and the spoof-resistance offered by biological information from within the body-can be put to wider use, such as accessing personal or other sensitive information, or using services".

Giving further details on the tech, Fujitsu noted that it has developed a compound optical element that utilizes optical diffraction to both scatter and focus light.

The light radiated from the LED is diffracted to illuminate upwards diagonally, enabling illumination with uniform intensity over a rectangular area that is wider than the illumination component.

By diffracting the light with uniform intensity at the rectangular area for image capture, the number of LEDs can be reduced. Moreover, by creating a structure in which the illumination component and the image capture component can be arranged in one row, Fujitsu Laboratories was able to create a size small enough to fit within the narrow width of a mobile device frame.

Users slide their fingers across the touch panel of the mobile device, and as the user's palm passes over the optical unit, which continuously captures images of the palm. At the same time, coordinate data obtained from the touch panel is also continuously recorded.

Even though the optical unit's compact size results in a smaller capture area, because the hand passes over the optical unit, the pattern of palm veins is divided up for reading, enabling the entire palm vein pattern to be used for authentication. The guides make the captured area on the palm easier to reproduce.

In addition, Fujitsu Laboratories developed a new algorithm for authenticating the divided-up palm vein patterns, verifying data using such features as image selection (false accept rate of 0.001%, and a one-retry false reject rate of 0.01%).