Fujitsu, Softex offer enhanced palm vein architecture biometric device

Published 29 September 2006

The vein architecture in one’s palm is as unique as one’s fingerprints, and it is more accurate (fingerprint readers have difficulties, for example, in authenticating surgeons, guitarists, or brick-layers based ion their fingerprints); Fujitsu is enhancing its palm reading biometric device by incorporating Softex’s software

Palm reading, typically the realm of the superstitious and the gullible, is now a science. We are talking about palm reading for authentication purposes, not the one done to predict your future. Sunnyvale, California-based Fujitsu Computer Products of America and Austin, Texas-based Softex, a specialist in biometric and smart card technology, earlier this week announced that the Fujitsu PalmSecure biometric authentication device will be supported by Softex’s OmniPass software application. The product is aimed at environments which require dual-layer identity management and authentication for secure data access. Softex has shipped over five million units of its OmniPass software to clients in different parts of the world — which is a good thing for PalmSecue, since the OmniPass software readily integrates with biometric devices. Implementation of the software application allows for secured login and encryption and decryption of files — all without needing passwords.

This is a good thing. There used to be a time when passwords offered sufficient security. Not anymore. Yes, there are more stringent rules governing the use of passwords these days, for example, automatic expiration of passwords every ninety days, increasing the length and character requirements, and more, but these offer but little additional security. Passwords, however, have inherent problems: If one uses a single password for multiple applications and that password is discovered, several doors open at once. Shared passwords can be compromised and long passwords are difficult to remember.

Fujitsu’s PalmSecure biometric authentication device is an interesting alternative to fingerprint solutions. The solution relies on authenticating identity by examining each person’s unique palm vein architecture. The device’s sensor captures a near-infrared image of the palm vein pattern. The proprietary algorithm takes this data, converts it into a digitized biometric template, and then matches it against a pre-registered template.

Fujitsu is headquartered in Tokyo. The company reported consolidated revenues of $40.6 billion for the fiscal year which ended 31 March 2006.

-read more in this news release