How does vein pattern recognition work

There are three forms of vein pattern recognition. Palm vein pattern recognition, finger vein pattern recognition (both of which work using so-called near infrared* light) and retina vein pattern recognition.

1. Palm vein pattern recognition

The haemoglobin in your blood contains oxygen once it is transported from your lungs through the arteries to the tissues in your body. Once the blood flows back to your heart through the remaining veins, it has delivered that oxygen. Vein pattern recognition exploits this difference between oxygenated and deoxygenated haemoglobin. Deoxygenated haemoglobin actually has the property of absorbing infrared light. This makes the vein pattern visible as soon as you shine infrared light on it with a scanner.

The vein pattern in the palm is unique to everyone, allowing you to use it – by storing reference points in the pattern – as a means of identification and security technology. In most systems using vein pattern recognition, the vein pattern is stored as an ‘image’ and may or may not be encrypted. With the Palm-ID, on the other hand, the scanned reference points are stored directly in a so-called encrypted template; the vein pattern is already converted into code in the scanner. As a result, this form of palm vein pattern recognition has an extremely high level of security.

Want to know more or looking for a biometric security solution for your organisation?

2. Finger vein pattern recognition

Finger vein pattern recognition works based on the same principle as palm vein pattern recognition. By beaming “near infrared” light on the vein pattern of the fingers, this pattern can be recognised thanks to deoxygenated haemoglobin.
However, with a finger scan, you are dealing with a much smaller surface area. On the one hand, this makes this technique more compact than palm vein pattern recognition, because the scanner is simply smaller. But on the other hand, it is actually less user friendly because the positioning of the finger on the scanner required precision. Indeed, the smaller surface area means there are fewer reference points, making it more difficult to recognise the pattern properly. As far as vein pattern recognition is concerned, the more reference points, the more security as well as convenience.

3. Retina vein pattern recognition

The human retina is a thin tissue located in the back of the eye. Because of the complex structure of the capillaries that supply blood to the retina, each retina is unique.

In retinal vein pattern recognition, the retina is scanned by beaming a (non-infrared) light through the eyeball. Because the blood vessels in the retina absorb this light, the vein pattern can be recognised and stored as an image. Retina vein pattern recognition is used less and less, mainly because of its ease of use, or rather lack thereof. In fact, for it to work properly, users need to hold their heads still at just the right height and distance. Also, many people find it unpleasant to have light beamed into their eyes.

Want to know more or looking for a biometric security solution for your organisation?


Superuser functionality biometric technology

Due to the explosive growth of cybercrime, the need for higher levels of security will increase enormously in the coming years, especially biometric security solutions based on vein pattern recognition.* Ironically, their implementation may actually create new...

Biometric access control and privacy: what does the GDPR say?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has been in force since 2018, and this has not gone unnoticed. Many organisations still struggle with its interpretation. In our own field, biometric access control, the GDPR also has the necessary impact. The court ruled...

FAR and FRR: security level versus ease of use

FAR and FRR. Anyone looking to assess or compare the performance of biometric security systems cannot avoid these terms. In this article, we explain what FAR and FRR mean, how they affect each other and their implications for security level and ease of use. Let us...

5 common biometric techniques compared

The best-known forms of biometric security are the fingerprint and iris scan. In addition, facial recognition and vein pattern recognition (of both finger and palm) are also on the rise. In this article, we list the pros and cons of all these forms. 1. Fingerprint...

The basics of biometrics

In order to compare biometric applications, it is useful to know something about the basics. In this article, we briefly outline the 'basics of biometrics' for you. 1. General definition of biometrics Biometric features are unique, person-specific characteristics that...