It seems like just yesterday that 3D face unlock appeared on Android smartphones, but the LG G8 ThinQ packs a brand-new form of authentication.

The newly announced flagship offers palm vein recognition, dubbed Hand ID, and LG claims it’s the first manufacturer in the world to offer this capability. The firm says the front-facing Z Camera (its fancy name for the 3D ToF camera) is able to recognize the shape, thickness and other characteristics of the veins in a user’s hands. This is possible as the Z Camera uses the infrared absorption characteristics of hemoglobin in a user’s blood to map said veins.

Using vein recognition is a case of simply placing your hand in front of the selfie camera area and waiting for the phone to recognize your veins. And the firm says the authentication method isn’t affected by light from external sources, so it should theoretically work fine in low-light environments and the bright outdoors.

LG G8 ThinQ

The Z Camera also enables 3D facial recognition, so you can rely on this if Hand ID sounds a little too freaky for your liking. Prefer something a little more traditional? Then you’ve still got a rear fingerprint scanner at your disposal.

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Another noteworthy feature enabled by the Z Camera is touch-free gestures, allowing you to make/receive calls, switch between apps, and adjust volume without touching the screen. So I think it’s fair to say LG has definitely found a few interesting uses for 3D ToF technology, but are these features actually useful? Check back in the coming weeks when we publish our LG G8 ThinQ review.

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