A library near Tokyo is preparing to become the first library to use vein recognition to check out books. The technology will be supplied by Fujitsu.
What's up with the Japanese and their fondness of vein recognition as a biometric identification technology? Just last month, Hitachi started shipping a thin client laptop computer that, again, used vein recognition as a user authentication technology. It is also in Japan that you'll find ATMs using this technology.
Vein patterns have several advantages over fingerprints.
Scars can alter a finger print, but vein patterns typically remain the same over long periods of time. A finger print is also easier to forge (using a rubber overlay) than a vein pattern. But surely none of these are of great concern for a public library? The improvements over fingerprints are marinal when you compare it to passwords or library cards, while the costs must significant. You also don't have to press or touch a vein scanner, staying away from any yucky surfaces.
I for one am puzzled. You happen to walk into a biometrics expert, make sure you ask him or her. And drop us a line in the comment section below.
A palm vein scanner by Fujitsu
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