Biometrics make headway at CES, Las Vegas

Biometrics make headway at CES, Las Vegas

A vein-imaging point-of-sale authorisation device and USB-based iris scanning technology have been turning heads at the CES show in Las Vegas, raising expectations that 2014 may be a break-out year for the biometric technology industry.

New Jersey's PulseWallet has been demonstrating its cardless POS kit integrated with Fujitsu's PalmSecure biometric technology at the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Centre.

PulseWallet says the combination opens the way for consumers to leave their credit and debit cards at home and pay for goods and services with a wave of their palms at the check-out. The PalmSecure-enabled terminals link the consumer's palm to a personal digital wallet that electronically tracks and stores receipts and coupons at the point-of-payment.

The Fujitsu PalmSecure biometric sensors use a near-infrared light to capture a user's palm vein pattern, generating a unique biometric template that is matched against the encrypted patterns of pre-registered users.

Registration at any PulseWallet terminal takes less than one minute and authentication takes less than one second, says the vendor.

Elsewhere at the CES show, biometric start-up EyeLock has been showing off its USB-enabled iris identity authenticator, myris. The company is touting the technology as a convenient and secure replacement for password-based access to digital devices and platforms, both at the consumer and enterprise level.

Jim Demitrieus, chief executive officer, EyeLock, boasts: "Eyelock is the only iris authentication technology to employ fast motion video and dual eye authentication, allowing us to provide a more seamless, simple and user-friendly experience, with unparalleled levels of security."

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 10 January, 2014, 06:32Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Here, in Australia, we even refuse to carry ID cards, so biometrics doesn't stand a chance. Even if that were not the case, the cost of the hardware necessary to implement such a system in any but the smallest establishments would be rather excessive. Local trials of biometrics by financial institutions and others have shown that the technology throws up too many false negatives to be acceptable, in itself. Further, it is vulnerable to man-in-the middle attacks, where malware records the transaction, and passes it to a hacker. In the recent Target compromise, if the data stolen had included biometric authentication, the loss would have been equally serious. If the only issue is reliable user authentication, with no false positives or false negatives, then the algorithm described in has been found to be perfect by financial transactions, so it may well be ideal for casino operations too - and considerably more secure.