Hitachi’s Finger Vein Technology

Hitachi recently announced the development of its new car finger vein authentication technology located on the steering wheel. On display until the November 11th at the Tokyo Motor show, is an automobile fitted with this technology. Providing a fast and reliable way to authenticate the identity of the driver by simply gripping the steering wheel, Hitachi’s invention could prove to be a major step forward in car security and theft prevention.

Hitachi’s latest invention uses the finger vein authentication technology they have been developing since 1997.Hitachi introduced a grip-type finger vein authentication technology in 2005, used to verify the entrance of authorized personnel to a certain room or building. The system recognizes a person’s unique finger vein pattern upon grabbing the door’s handle, thus allowing entrance only to authorized personnel.

Until recently, the finger vein authentication method operated by capturing and authenticating the image of the vein pattern by resting the fingertip on the authentication equipment. The disadvantage of this method was that the finger needed to be placed exactly above the sensor for the system to recognize the pattern. Also, doors and steering wheels do not provide enough space to embed a sensor in an ideal position.

Hitachi‘s innovative technology recognizes the finger vein pattern which can be obtained from the side of the finger, eliminating the need to place a sensor directly below the finger. Accordingly, the new design is compact and better suited for a variety of uses. Because the area scanned is no longer the finger’s surface, one simply places a finger between the light source and the camera.

When placed on a steering wheel, the new authentication system also enables an easier way to adjust and customize the car to the driver’s liking. Different functions can be controlled by each finger, creating a multi-function finger-controlled switch that adjusts the seat and mirror positions, operates the air conditioning or radio. Another advantage of this setup is that the driver doesn’t need to search for different switches and can concentrate solely on the road.

In 2006, TFOT covered Fujitsu’s palm vein technology used to prevent bank card thefts, fraudulent financial transactions, and unauthorized entries. In the field of medicine, Luminetx has developed the VeinViewer in order to allow medical professionals a quick and convenient way to look at a patient’s vasculature.

Further information about the finger vein authentication technology can be found on Hitachi’s website.

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