Move over 3D face recognition, Microsoft wants your palm instead. The biometric security industry has exploded thanks to the popularity of fingerprint scanners and the whole drama around face recognition on phones. Tech companies are now racing to find the next big thing, and the next body part, for securing devices and files. Microsoft, who already supports face and fingerprint recognition via Windows Hello, has teamed up with Fujitsu to integrate the latter’s PalmSecure technology into Windows 10 Pro.
This isn’t exactly like the palm scanners of science fiction, where you place your hand on top of some plate. Instead, you hover your hand over a sensor the size of a postage stamp or smaller. The effects are, in theory, the same: speedy, accurate, and secure authentication.
Unlike the common misconception, Fujitsu’s PalmSecure isn’t simply reading palms the way fingerprint sensors read fingerprints. To be more precise, it’s “palm vein recognition”, not simply palm recognition. It works on the principle that the veins underneath are palm are so complex that they can be used to uniquely identify individuals. But unlike the usual fingerprint and even face scanning, these veins can easily be photographed or duplicated since they lie beneath the skin, adding a level of security to the process.
Palm vein recognition, using Fujitsu’s software and components, is already being used by a few businesses, but nothing widespread yet for consumers. Microsoft wants to change that by integrating the technology into Windows 10 Pro, the same way it has integrated face/iris recognition and fingerprint sensors. Of course, that will still require dedicated hardware, which is also still a rare thing in the consumer PC market.