Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. reportedly developed the world's first slide-style palm vein authentication technology. This technology is compact enough to be equipped to future tablets and other handheld mobile devices.
As tablets and other small-scale mobile devices have become widespread, there has been interest in embedding an optical unit for vein authentication into the narrow frames of such devices, but making the optical unit smaller had been difficult.
Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a compact illumination component that lights up a rectangular target area with a uniform intensity using a single LED. This was achieved by using a new compound optical element that applies the phenomenon of diffraction. The company has also developed a new verification technology that captures the complete pattern of a palm's veins, dividing the pattern into slices as the hand passes over the optical unit, which at a mere 8 mm wide is able to be embedded into the frames of compact mobile devices.
As a result, palm vein authentication -- with it's superior characteristics, including highly accurate authentication and the spoof-resistance offered by biological information from within the body -- can be put to wider use, such as accessing personal or other sensitive information, or using services. This is expected to lead to a corresponding prevalence of highly secure mobile services.
The miniaturized optical unit is narrow enough to fit within the touch panel of mobile devices. This enables authentication simply by sliding one's fingers across the touch panel.
The compound optical element Fujitsu Laboratories developed utilizes optical diffraction to both scatter and focus light. The light radiated from the LED is diffracted to illuminate upwards diagonally, enabling illumination with uniform intensity over a rectangular area that is wider than the illumination component. By diffracting the light with uniform intensity at the rectangular area for image capture, the number of LEDs can be reduced.
Users slide their fingers across the touch panel of the mobile device, and as the user's palm passes over the optical unit, which continuously captures images of the palm. At the same time, coordinate data obtained from the touch panel is also continuously recorded.
Even though the optical unit's compact size results in a smaller capture area, because the hand passes over the optical unit, the pattern of palm veins is divided up for reading, enabling the entire palm vein pattern to be used for authentication. The guides make the captured area on the palm easier to reproduce.
Fujitsu Laboratories plans to continue refining its optical units and authentication algorithms with the goal of practical implementation of slide-style palm vein authentication technology during fiscal 2017. The company looks forward to expanding the use of palm vein authentication in new situations, thanks to miniaturization techniques such as the compound optical element.