Explainer: Finger Vein Recognition

Finger vein recognition is a method of biometric authentication that uses pattern recognition techniques based on images of human finger vein patterns beneath the skin’s surface. Finger vein recognition is used to identify individuals and to verify their identity.

Finger vein recognition is a biometric authentication system that matches the vascular pattern in an individual’s finger to previously obtained data. Hitachi developed and patented a finger vein identification system in 2005. The technology is mainly used for credit card authentication, automobile security, employee time and attendance tracking, computer and network authentication, end point security and automated teller machines.

To obtain the pattern for the database record, an individual inserts a finger into an attester terminal containing a near-infrared light-emitting diode (LED) light and a monochrome charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. The hemoglobin in the blood absorbs near-infrared LED light, which makes the vein system appear as a dark pattern of lines. The camera records the image and the raw data is digitized and held in a database of registered images.

Blood vessel patterns are unique to each individual. Unlike other biometric systems however, blood vessel patterns are almost impossible to counterfeit because they are located beneath the skin’s surface and can only be obtained from a living person.

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