Washington, July 1 : Forget fingerprint and iris scanners, the future of automated identification using body parts is in the palm of your hand, at least that's what Fujitsu Computer Products of America wants people to think.
Fujitsu Computer Products of America recently unveiled palm-scanning technology for the U.S. market that's already in widespread use in Asia.
Hiroko Naito, Fujitsu's business development manager, said that the firm's PalmSecure technology uses near-infrared scanning to identify people by the pattern of veins in their palms, which are as distinctive as fingerprints.
"It's a contactless device - you just hold your hand over the sensor, so it's hygienic and easy to use. We have heard so many times from customers that the reason they were hesitant about biometrics is that it could be intrusive," Live Science quoted Naito, as saying.
Geoffrey Turner, senior analyst at Forrester Research, said that fingerprint scanners are already deeply entrenched in the U.S. market, and that the scanners used by fingerprint systems are much smaller than palm scanners, making them more attractive for desktop use.
"The chief reason for the development of the palm scanner is that in Japan fingerprints are associated with criminality, so there is a strong cultural aversion to using fingerprint scanners," Turner said.
"And there is the question of hygiene, since people will be touching something. To make an impact here, palm scanning will have to overcome the strong head start that fingerprint swipes have," he added.
Naito said that one of the major advantages that PalmSecure has over fingerprint scanners is that a significant percentage of the population - as high as 8 percent - cannot use them because of damaged or missing fingers.
"Anyone can use our system. If they have lost their hand they can do some other part of the body," Naito said.
The technology also prevents the system from being fooled with color photographs, Naito said.