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Snowflake Previews Touchless Vein Pattern Recognition

A Memphis, Tenn.-based biometric company has unveiled a prototype of an identity verification system using vein pattern recognition.

Snowflake Technologies, a two-year old unit of Luminetx Corp., which itself developed vein recognition technologies for health care applications, will demonstrate its Enterprise Biometrics system at the ISC West conference in Las Vegas next week.

Unlike other biometric devices, the Snowflake prototype is “touchless.” A user places his hand below an optical reader, which scans the palm. The system uses a Luminetx-developed algorithm to translate some 700 data points within the subcutaneous vein image into a numeric key, said Brad Silver, Snowflake’s vice president of business development.

The palm scan compares to the 35 to 125 data points fingerprint recognition offers, while at the same time, is far less invasive than iris scanning.

Potential applications could include access control; time and attendance; transaction recording; and audit trail creation. “In some cases a palm scan can be done faster that a signature. Also, it can’t be defrauded or spoofed,” Silver says.

The system can also be networked into other security and building systems, whether legacy or IP-based. “I don’t care how you want to hook it up. It’s going to hum in any environment,” Silver stated.

Silver declined to discuss price points, but emphasized the degree of value that Enterprise Biometrics offers across a wide range of corporate security application. Cost estimates, featured in an article at by Imran Khan, a research associate for AutoID & Security, in 2006, put per-unit vein recognition cost $2,000 to $4,000, compared to hand geometry readers and fingerprint scanners are priced at $1,200 and $500, respectively.

The product will be ready for full market rollout in the fourth quarter 2008. Beta-testing will begin mid-summer, Silver said.

During ISC West, Snowflake will be demonstrating the prototype at booth 70-137. The scanner is also featured in the video link below.

About the Author

Steven Titch is editor of Network-Centric Security magazine.

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