July 20, 2007
Hitachi Launches Sale of Compact, Contactless Finger Vein Authentication Device and SDK
Full-scale Availability Set for Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania
SINGAPORE, July 20, 2007, — Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE:HIT / TSE:6501) today announced that it will begin the sale of its compact and contactless Finger Vein biometric authentication device and SDK (Software Development Kit). Full-scale availability and sales begin July in Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania and others. Hitachi developed the product based on the original model designed for the Japanese market and sold in Japan since October 2006. PC users can now guard against illegitimate access or leakage of information on their computers by using the vein patterns in their finger as the key to manage their computer login process. The finger vein unit has achieved its small size, high accuracy rate and low cost by employing a single-chip LSI design with this device. In addition, an SDK is available to allow for development of custom applications or integration into existing application environments.
Following several years of research and development of the finger vein pattern recognition technology at the Hitachi, Ltd., Central Research Institute in 1997, the company received a substantial number of patents. Because of the unique and “non-traceable” nature of the biometric technology, counterfeiting is not possible. Given the progress of today’s ubiquitous information society, the need for practical and accurate biometric solutions is growing at a fast pace. Finger vein pattern recognition meets effectively these demanding requirements and allows for the efficient deployment of biometric authentication devices for a variety of applications.
Hitachi has now commercialized the operating system and various applications including PC login devices and validation devices for ATMs for various fields in Japan. The validation device for ATMs is fast becoming a de facto standard, with about 80 percent of the financial institutions in Japan adopting finger vein biometrics as of the end of March in 2007. (Based on Hitachi’s independent ＡＴＭ market analysis within the Banking sector)
As adoption levels of finger vein pattern recognition increase in Japan, the level of interest in the overseas market is also increasing. To date, Hitachi is seeing sales increase of the device in Southeast Asia, including Singapore. In addition, growth potential is expected in the United States and Europe, particularly for access control and related applications. Hitachi recently installed a system at the Shinkin Central Bank, New York branch.
Hitachi is increasingly focusing its businesses on creating solutions to answer various market trends aiming at the achievement of a safe, comfortable, ubiquitous information society, exemplified by making finger vein technology the de facto standard for high-security biometrics.
Sales target – Hitachi is targeting 10,000 units/year for the IT security field where big growth in the future is expected.
Features and mechanism of finger vein authentication system – The finger vein pattern recognition technology employs the vein pattern of the finger as the biometric feature. The finger vein pattern is impossible to counterfeit because the vein is inside the body. With some of the existing biometric systems, it is possible to acquire biometric data without the knowledge of the individual [e.g. finger-print, facial recognition, iris-scan etc.]. It is not possible to acquire the finger vein biometric feature without the knowing consent of the individual meaning that from a societal aspect, finger vein pattern recognition is safe and secure for the individual. In operation, the process of data collection is based on a contactless principle. Light penetrates through the finger using a light-transmission technique to allow the detection of the structure of the vein pattern. The vein pattern is image-processed using a special algorithm resulting in digital data that can be stored in a relevant data repository. The device is compact and can be applied in a variety of ways including for car entry, personal authentication, PC login, and validation for ATM machines.