Netherlands-based independent R & D facility Holst Center announced recently that it has developed the world’s first organic near-infrared (NIR) image sensor capable of detecting vein patterns in a person’s hands via reflected light.
The sensor, which measures 2.4 x 3.6 cm and has a resolution of 500 ppi, is able to image an area large enough to capture a person’s palm or multiple fingers from a distance. The NIR wavelength allows light to pass through the skin but is absorbed by the hemoglobin in blood, which is how it is able to detect the vein patterns beneath the skin that are invisible to the human eye.
With our vein patterns being as unique as our fingerprints but much harder, if not impossible, to duplicate, vein pattern recognition is considered highly secure and has been growing in popularity as a form of contactless biometric authentication, especially in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the move from many enterprises away from contact-based biometrics such as some fingerprint scanners.
“Together with a NIR light source, the prototype image sensor opens the door to contactless biometric security through vein pattern detection,” said Daniel Tordera, a senior scientist with Holst Center. “Our thin-film technologies make for extremely thin and potentially flexible sensors that could be easily integrated into existing displays and things like mobile phones or cash machine screens, eliminating the need for separate ID and credit cards.”
With its development of large-area NIR sensors, Holst Center is looking to continue to venture further into the NIR region by refining its technology, with the aim of eventually finding new applications for the technology such as eye tracking, quality control in food production, non-invasive medical imaging and cuffless blood pressure monitoring.
The area of healthcare biometrics is another fast growing sector, with a number of companies around the world looking for new ways to use technologies to treat patients, from remote monitoring to help keep track of chronic conditions without requiring constant clinical visits — another area of importance highlighted by the COVID-19 era — to AI-powered voice assistants to help medical practitioners spend less time on administrative duties and more time interacting with their patients. This latest development from Holst Center could pave the way for even more biometric applications in healthcare.
Source: Phys Org
July 15, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis