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Palm Vein Biometrics PDF Print E-mail

Principles of palm vein biometrics

The pattern of blood veins is unique to every individual, even among identical twins. Palms have a broad and complicated vascular pattern and thus contain a wealth of differentiating features for personal identification. Furthermore, it will not vary during the person's lifetime. It is a very secure method of authentication because this blood vein pattern lies under the skin. This makes it almost impossible for others to read or copy.

How does palm vein biometrics work

An individual's vein pattern image is captured by radiating his/her hand with near-infrared rays. The reflection method illuminates the palm using an infrared ray and captures the light given off by the region after diffusion through the palm. The deoxidized hemoglobin in the in the vein vessels absorbs the infrared ray, thereby reducing the reflection rate and causing the veins to appear as a black pattern. This vein pattern is then verified against a preregistered pattern to authenticate the individual.

As veins are internal in the body and have a wealth of differentiating features, attempts to forge an identity are extremely difficult, thereby enabling a high level of security. In addition, the sensor of the palm vein device can only recognize the pattern if the deoxidized hemoglobin is actively flowing within the individual's veins.

This sytem is not dangerous, a near infrared is a component of sunlight: there is no more exposure when scanning the hand than by walking outside in the sun.

How does palm vein biometrics compare with other biometric systems?

As palm veins are inside the hand, they are protected and this system is not susceptible to minor trauma, cuts, etc (conversely to some fingerprint systems). Also, this sytem doesn't have the same potential civil libery issues as face recognition techniques: Your face face can be scanned without you being aware of it, but your palm vein remain hidden.

Benefits of palm vein biometric systems

  • Difficult to forge
  • Contactless, hygienic and non-invasive
  • Highly accurate
  • Capable of 1:1 and 1:many matching

Applications of palm vein biometrics

  • Security systems: physical admission into secured areas with oor lock and integrated building security systems
  • Log-in control: network or PC access
  • Healthcare: ID verification for medical equipment, electronic record management
  • Banking and financial services: access to ATM, kiosks, vault


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