Fujitsu Combines Palm Vein and Fingerprint Verification

June 12, 2012 - 

Recently, Fujitsu revealed the creation of the world’s first biometric system that combines both palm vein recognition with fingerprint verification. By unifying the two biometric techniques, the firm has been able to develop a technology that is able to identify one individual from a million others, in less than two seconds.

According to the company, its system makes it possible to build authentication systems that do not need physical ID cards. Further, the system can be customized to accommodate specific applications, such as small-scale room access control to large-scale access systems across multiple locations. Most importantly, the system is compatible with existing palm vein authentication and fingerprint authentication systems and equipment that are already in use.

Fujitsu already is a leading developer and manufacturer of palm vein systems. The company released its first publicly-available software development kit for palm vein technology in 2006 and the firm has been a supplier of palm vein technology for Japanese banks since 2004.

A recent video from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers describes how palm vein technology works:

According to the video from IEEE Spectrum Magazine: “The module shines near-infrared light onto a person’s hand. The deoxygenated blood in the veins absorbs the near-infrared light, while the rest of the hand lets the light pass through. A sensor in the module records the image of the hand, where the veins show up as dark lines. Then a software program compares the image against the template on record for that individual.”

Pushing the limits of innovation, Fujitsu’s premier research and development lab in Tokyo was the first to develop contactless palm vein scanning technology back in 2003.

In May 2012, the firm’s laboratory announced the development of the world’s smallest and slimmest palm vein scanner. According to Fujitsu, the use of newly-developed image sensors and a newly-designed optical system comprising a new low-distortion wide-angle lens and a diffused lighting system enables the biometric technology to be slimmed down to the thickness of just five millimeters, small enough to be housed in slots of existing products that were previously used for fingerprint scanners. reported that slimmed down technology would be used in tablets.

In its latest advance to enhance biometric identification, Fujitsu’s R&D lab has designed its combined fingerprint-vein identification system to leverage parallel processing. By incorporating this type of computing, the system can scale the number of server systems used to authenticate system users, based upon the size of the pool of potential biometric matches. Parallel processing is also well-suited to cloud-based environments, allowing customers to scale their security operations rapidly, globally and instantaneously.

Through further refinements to increase speed and precision, Fujitsu’s R&D laboratories hopes to make it feasible to authenticate groups on the scale of 10 million people within 2011. Such a scenario would make the technology well-suited for government applications such as border identification systems.

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About Rawlson King

Rawlson O’Neil King is a contributing editor at and is an experienced communications professional, management consultant, trade journalist and author who recently published a book about control and electronic networks and who has written numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals about smart home and building technologies. Follow him @rawlsonking2.