BioGuard unveils palm vein authentication system

Source: BioGuard

BioGuard, a leading provider of biometric solutions for a wide variety of applications, today announced the launch of PalmGuard, an advanced biometric authentication system for verifying an individual's identity by recognizing the unique pattern of veins in the palm.

Combining Fujitsu's breakthrough palm vein authentication technology with BioGuard's compact product design and powerful management software, PalmGuard™ maximizes accuracy and ease of use for security-based applications.

PalmGuard Product Description
PalmGuard is a combination of Fujitsu's PalmSecure biometric palm vein authentication sensor and a smart card reader / writer device. Both components are integrated into an attractively designed and compact desktop-enclosure.

If a user positions his hand 3 to 6 cm above the sensor's surface, the sensor emits a near infrared beam to the palm. The near infrared light passes the human skin layers and reaches the veins. The reduced oxygen in the blood flowing back to the heart absorbs the near infrared light. This absorption will be recorded as a raw image by the sensor's integrated near infrared wide angular camera.
This raw image is then encrypted inside the sensor by using the AES method. The encrypted data will be transferred to the sensor's template library software, which converts and compresses the encrypted raw image to a template with a size of approx. 1 KB. This final template will then be again encrypted with AES.

With the related software application, the enrolled biometric user template can be directly stored onto the chip of a smart card, which can be operated and processed by the integrated smart card reader / writer device of PalmGuard™.
PalmGuard is high-level security authentication desktop device, which can be used in various security application environments requiring biometric template-on-card processes to verify the user's identity.
The PalmGuard integrator product (application software is to be added by the integrator) will be available from April 2008.

The PalmGuard value added distribution product is planned for June 2008. This product will additionally have a client security software, offering Windows log on and single-sign-on feature.

PalmGuardTM Product Features
  • Contactless and hygienic operation of the PalmSecure™ sensor
  • Biometric information is inside the body and therefore almost impossible to forge
  • Very high applicability and excellent accuracy
  • Template can be stored directly to the chip of the smart card
  • Palm vein pattern is different for each individual and it does not change during lifetime
  • PalmSecure FAR/FRR: 0.000 8% / 0.01%
  • Verifying time with template-on-card: ca. 1 sec.
  • Supported card types: 5V, 3V and 1.8V smart cards, ISO 7816 Class A, AB and C
  • USB 2.0 interface (Y-cable)
  • Dimensions of PalmGuard combo device: 150x100x90mm (D/W/H)

PalmGuard Package Contents
  • PalmSecure & Smart Card combo device
  • USB Y-cable
  • 1x Smart card
  • Device drivers for WIN XP/2000//2003/Vista (CD-ROM)
  • Hand guide
  • Hand guide mounting screws & mounting tool
  • Manual
  • Packaging box (290x250x80mm)

The Business Need for Palm Vein Authentication Solutions

The ease with which traditional authentication systems can be compromised, together with the rapid growth in identity theft and increasing privacy concerns have resulted in a surge in demand for stronger authentication methods. Biometric authentication methods, such as palm vein scanning, use "something you are" as the basis of verification, rather than something you have, like a smart card or PIN. PalmGuard is a contactless solution that uses a near-infrared beam to scan the distinct vein patterns deep within each individual's palm, which are virtually impossible to duplicate or forge. This ensures unsurpassed accuracy, security and usability for applications requiring strong authentication.

Among today's available biometric technologies, PalmGuard provides top level reliability and accuracy, while also offering maximum convenience with respect to ease of use. It addresses the growing scourge of credit card and smart card fraud, as well as helping organizations comply with HIPAA and other legal requirements," stated Ofer Gol, CEO at BioGuard.

Delivering Strong Authentication for a Wide Range of Applications

PalmGuard delivers strong authentication for a wide range of applications:
  • Banking - PalmGuard can be implemented to support a variety of banking scenarios including ATMs, walk-in customers, internal bank security and remote banking for business customers.
  • Kiosks - PalmGuard performs quick and accurate authentication of identity, such as machines in airports that issue airplane e-tickets, kiosks in clinics that dispense medical test results, or automated stands in train stations that check monthly rail passes.
  • Hospitals and healthcare - PalmGuard secures access to patient data in compliance with HIPAA requirements. Hospitals need to accurately verify patients ID to protect them from medical identity theft and insurance fraud. This hygienic solution enables authorized personnel to enter restricted areas or log into computer systems in sterile areas without contacting the sensor itself.
  • Physical access - PalmGuard can be used to manage high security entry control for financial institutions, military facilities, schools and other types of organizations. In addition, it serves as a time and attendance solution, enabling organizations to track employees' arrival and departure times using on-access control.
  • Logical access - Organizations can use PalmGuard™ to secure the enterprise's valuable information and protect the privacy of customer and employee information. It supports single sign-on (SSO) to enable a user to authenticate once and gain access to the resources of multiple software systems.

"The market has recognized the need for biometric authentication solutions, particularly in the financial and healthcare industries," stated Thomas Bengs, Senior Account Manager at Fujitsu. "Through our strategic partnership with BioGuard and ComputerSky, we are able to offer a highly accurate, easy to use palm authentication solution at a very attractive price. This solution enables enterprises and organizations to enjoy the benefits of our cutting-edge palm vein scanning technology, together with BioGuard's proven experience in the development and implementation of innovative biometric authentication solutions."

Advantages of Palm Vein Authentication over Other Biometric Authentication Technologies

The palm vein scanning technology offers a number of outstanding advantages versus other biometric identification methods in terms of security, accuracy, performance and usability. PalmGuard severely reduces the risk of security breaches, because the veins are deep within the hand and arranged in very complicated, hard-to-reproduce patterns. Fingerprints, in contrast, are based on making contact, and can be "lifted" from a glass surface and duplicated using commonly found ingredients.

A key advantage of palm vein authentication is that it uses "no touch" technology, enabling it to be used when hands are dirty, wet or even if the skin surface is scratched. Equally important, since the hand never touches the sensor's surface while being scanned, it is a clean and convenient solution in situations where hygiene is of primary importance (e.g., hospitals).

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