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Photos: The future biometrics giving security a hand

You're so vein

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nick-heath.jpg
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Topic: Security
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1 of 6 Nick Heath/ZDNet

You're so vein

The latest biometric technology could let workers access buildings with a wave of their hand.

This vascular pattern scanner by Identica uses infrared light to capture the unique pattern of veins and capillaries on the back of a person's hand to verify their identity.

When the back of a hand is pressed against the scanner, as seen here, the scanner measures the light reflected back off it and matches it against an approved pattern.

The technology was on display recently at the launch of the Unisys Security Index.

Photo credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com

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2 of 6 Nick Heath/ZDNet

Users can register to use the scanner by placing a smartcard on a wireless interface at the top of the device, as seen here, and placing their hand underneath.

The scanner then stores the reflected pattern of the hand on the smartcard.

The patterns can then be used to verify user's identity, by comparing the pattern stored on the card with that of the cardholder's hand.

Stephen Crispe, senior information security architect at Unisys, said that one of the advantages of the system is that it is difficult to fool.

"If there is no blood running through the hand there will not be a reading, as perhaps you might get one from cutting off a finger and putting it in a fingerprint scanner."

He said it was also more suited for use at workplaces such as building sites where the rough work can leave fingerprints damaged and unreadable.

However, vascular scanners are currently more expensive than alternative biometric systems, costing about $1,500 compared to about $500 for a fingerprint scanner.

Photo credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com

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3 of 6 Nick Heath/ZDNet

This Lumidigm Venus series fingerprint scanner, shown here, uses a multispectral imaging technique that reflects light off the top of the skin and multiple layers beneath the skin.

The technique makes it easier to resolve details of the fingerprint even when the skin is damaged and helps protects against fake prints worn on the tips of fingers.

The system is already at use in Disney World in Florida.

Photo credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com

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4 of 6 Nick Heath/ZDNet

The system allows the user to decide how many points of comparison the scanner looks for on a fingerprint in order to determine a match, depending on the level of security required.

Photo credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com

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5 of 6 Nick Heath/ZDNet

This FaceVACS-Alert software by Cognitec, shown here, can be paired with a video feed to detect faces from CCTV images or standalone video cameras.

It can run faces from a video stream, on the left of the screen, against images on a watch lists, on the right of the screen, of up to one million suspects. Suspects can be added to the system by capturing their face off a CCTV image.

Photo credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com

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6 of 6 Nick Heath/ZDNet

The system works by comparing the distribution of key points on the face, such as the eyes, cheek bones and mouth, as seen here. A greater or smaller number of points can be set depending on the desired security of the system.

It can raise alerts when a match is made or log matches against a timeline.

Photo credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com

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