Japanese scientists develop advanced palm recognition algorithm

September 3, 2012
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palm recognition smartphone
It’s not that rare that we report on groundbreaking new technologies that have been originally developed in Japan. But if Google’s social network has thought us anything, it’s that you can always go “+1″ on it (hey, why not use this chance to add to the Android Authority page on Google+ to your Circles+).

Today, I’m here to do just that by reporting on a new technology developed in partnership by Softbank — one of the biggest carriers in the land of the rising sun — and Universal Robot. This groundbreaking technology will allow users of tomorrow’s smartphones to unlock their device just by waving at its camera. Ok, so maybe I went overboard with the “waving” part, as all you really have to do is hold your hand in front of the camera. But hey, who can blame me?

Futuristic as it sounds, the system is able to tell if it’s your hand or not just by studying your palm veins and patterns. Such a technology was available in the past, but it has previously required a separate scanner. Fortunately, the new algorithm that Softbank and Universal Robot have developed only requires regular light to identify the particular characteristics of your hand, meaning all devices equipped with a camera should, in theory be able to use this palm recognition system.

According to the developers, the new technology intends to replace fingerprint scanners as the most secure method of unlocking your gadgets and devices. In addition, given that most smartphones do not feature fingerprint scanners (although some netbooks and notebooks do), the palm recognition software might add that extra layer of security that many feel is needed in the mobile ecosystem, especially given the personal nature of the info stored on smartphones. Furthermore, given that everything is done by the software — all smartphones have camera sensors — the technology might be made available at a decent price.

And no, that easily hackable Google Face Unlock is not going to be able to compete with this. The Android Face Unlock is but a marketing gimmick and nothing more.

What is your take on this? Am I alone in believing that we’re getting ever closer to reaching the kind of technology first envisioned in Minority Report? Drop us a comment in the section below and share a thought!

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