Use of optical scans to identify people is well known. A less popular
method uses near-infrared light to obtain an image of the blood
vessel pattern in the finger. The system is said to be as accurate
as a fingerprint.
Matched with images from employees, and meshed with a security
code, duplication of the internal pattern is nearly impossible to
duplicate, even with a severed finger, according to iaccess Systems
Inc., which sells the technology.
The technique echoes identification methods that recognize blood
vessel patterns in the retina, a system that ranks as one of the
oldest forms of biometrics. In the 1930s, researchers suggested
that the patterns of blood vessels on the back of the human eye
were unique to each person. Using that technology for a finger scan,
according to iaccess, brings certain advantages, including the ability
to miniaturize the equipment for widespread installation and to
overcome people’s innate reluctance to have their eye sockets
scanned at close range.
The first facility scheduled to use the system was a 156-unit condominium
in Osaka, Japan, completed in March. Other Japanese customers include
a nuclear power research facility, finance corporation headquarters
and data warehouse. Company officials told National Defense they
see a robust market in the United States.