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Vein biometric systems record subcutaneous Infra Red absorption patterns to produce unique and private identification templates for users. The technology is a vascular "bar" code reader for people! Veins and other subcutaneous features present large, robust, stable and largely hidden patterns. Subcutaneous features can be conveniently imaged within the wrist, palm, and dorsal surfaces of the hand. The technology can be applied to small personal biometric systems e.g. Biowatches and Biokeys and to generic biometric applications including intelligent door handles, door locks etc.  

Imaging Applications

Vein pattern IR. grey-scale images are binarized, compressed and stored within a relational database of 2D vein images. Subjects are verified against a reference template in under 200ms providing fast, robust biometric authentication.  

Vein Images

grey-scale IR. image of Dorsal Vein PatternBinary Image of Dorsal vein patternXOR of two aligned vein images for identification
Images The images displayed above show the progression from a grey-scale IR. vein image through a bianarized vein pattern template to a view of an exclusive OR  of two automatically aligned vein images taken from the same individual.

Vein Image Binarization

The Image below shows the effective real time binarization of a grey-scale vein image.

Vein Pattern Advantages

  1. The human vascular structure is a unique & private feature of an individual.
  2. Infra Red absorption patterns are easily compared via optical and DSP techniques.
  3. Identical twins have different and distinct IR absorption patterns.
  4. Uniqueness of vein patterns tested by Cambridge Consultants Ltd.
  5. Veins provide large, robust, stable and hidden biometric features.
  6. Vein patterns are not easily observed, damaged, obscured or changed.
  7. Vein patterns require only low resolution IR. imaging allied to simple image processing.
  8. Vein pattern stability and repeatability requires only simple algorithms for auto identification.
  9. Vein structures provide the opportunity for low cost personal worn and pocket biometric keys.
  10. Biometric Keys (Biokeys & Biowatches) read wrist or hands dorsal vein structures.
  11. Biowatches output encrypted access codes whilst strapped to a recognized non coerced wrist
  12. Biokeys & Biowatches output encrypted access codes ( Cryptographic signatures ) to vehicles, computers, access portals, weapons, firearms etc.
  13. Lost Vehicle Biokeys are not a problem; use any other! Vehicle Biokeys default to transmitting unrecognized patterns as plain text.
  14. Vehicle security/engine management systems will let you in and drive if they recognize your vein pattern.
  15. Biokeys & Biowatches maintain biometric privacy by placing the ownership of the biometric system, data & Crypto keys in the hands of the users.

Biometric Tenets

        Questions to Ask
        Biometric Vulnerabilities
        Open and Closed View Biometrics
Open view biometric traits i.e. traits that can be easily recorded or photographed or are left on every item we touch are likely to come under increasing criminal attack as biometric usage becomes more widespread. Open view biometric traits can be covertly captured and worked on by criminal elements until satisfactory facsimiles are produced to fool or spoof the biometric system. Closed view biometric traits i.e. hidden or internal biometric parameters and certain behavioural traits are more difficult to illicitly capture or reproduce.

The Biowatch an Opportunity

Performance:  Biometrics often fail, via rain spattered glasses or fingerprints damaged by
                     gardening or other DIY activity. The Biowatch overcomes these problems
                     by recognizing the individual long before any external biometric transaction is
Convenience:  The Biowatch can tune itself to reliably and repeatability recognize its owner,
                     providing essentially fit and forget smart biometric security.
          Choice:  The user can chose to transmit or not elements of his / her own biometric code
                    secured by the Biowatches digital signature. The technology places the individual in
                     control of their own biometric data & systems.
    Security 1:   The Biowatch is very secure as it integrates three fundamental elements of
                     security.  Something one has.  Something one knows,  Something one is.
    Security 2:   The Biowatch extends cheaply the security of biometric access to the users home,
                     vehicle and personal possessions.
         Privacy:   Vein patterns are within you, people don't leave them around (like fingerprints) nor
                     can they be easily observed like Iris patterns or faces. Vein structures are not
                     easily covertly captured or reproduced like other biometric traits.

Profitability:    Who will pay for biometrics? People will only pay if biometrics provides a
                     service specifically for them. Banks will only pay for biometrics if they stop
                     customer haemorrhage to competitive banks and credit cards, or biometrics
                     provides a competitive advantage or a  platform to sell customers additional
                     products and services.
  Advantages:    Biometric system need to provide tangible and demonstrable advantages;
                     advantages to the user as well as advantages to the Banks, Building Societies and
                     Retailers. Tangible benefits in terms of trust, convenience, security, privacy and
                     extendibility are provided by the Biowatch initiative. The Biowatch not only
                     provides a convenient means to secure banking, shopping and internet transactions
                     but it offers the user the opportunity (at low cost) to extend the security and
                     convenience of biometric access and use to domestic and personal possessions.

   Biometric:     The biowatch provides the secure centre of a future portable communications
  Agent           network. It securely authenticates the individual to myriad products and services
                     within the field .home, office or car.

A Challenge:   In my opinion this is the only sensible way for biometrics to proceed, none of
                           us wish to live in a world where the Government or Big Business can track us
                    from the cradle to the grave via biometrics. Help shape the future of Biometrics
                    by campaigning for the civilized implementation of biometric technologies.
                    Email your MP or Congressional representative regarding the need for Personal
                    Private Biometric Systems.
                    Email your bank, watch, phone or computer company, saying these are the
                    biometric systems you want, need and deserve, systems you will use and buy!

The Future

Biometrics are at last attracting some interest from the worlds major electronic and computer companies. This heralds a move to enhanced biometric interfaces for vehicles, computer networks, security access and payment systems. Biometric authentication will be used to secure future transactions between humans and intelligent machines. Biometrics will provide the key enablers to the generation of private keys in public key cryptography, securing the digital frontier for commerce. Take part in this process by helping and assisting the development of civilised biometric technologies. Technologies that delight rather than blight humanity.


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