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New PalmID tech lets you unlock devices with a wave of your hand

This new tech can “read" your palm using just about any camera. Just wave and you're signed in.

Published onOctober 25, 2017

We all know fingerprint scanners, and touchless biometric authentication methods like Samsung’s iris scanning and Apple’s 3D facial scanning are slowly becoming mainstream. The problem with these methods is they require dedicated hardware, which limits their adoption. Redrock Biometrics, a startup based in San Francisco, has a solution that involves “reading” your palm using just about any camera.

What's the safest way to lock your smartphone?

Dubbed PalmID, the technology utilizes the palm of your hand as a secure “key” to authenticate into a variety of services, online and offline. “You can think about the palm as a very large fingerprint,” said Lenny Kontsevich, Redrock’s chairman. “It has a rich structure and can be captured by any camera touchlessly.”

The company claims palm authentication technology is more secure and more practical, compared to facial recognition methods available right now.

PalmID can use palm images taken with any RGB or infrared camera with a resolution of 0.3 MP or above and authenticate the user in under 100 milliseconds, depending on CPU speed. Using machine vision techniques, it converts the palm image to a unique signature that Redrock says is impossible to fake, according to a statement provided to TechCrunch.

Virtually any device with a camera can use the technology, including smartphones, ATMs, desktops, and AR/VR devices. PalmID is “enrollment portable”, enabling fast sign-in for a multitude of platforms like Windows, iOS, Android and Linux. Dirty hands, scars, or insufficient illumination will not prevent the correct identification of your palm, according to Redrock. Just show your palm to the camera from a distance of six inches or more and, in a fraction of a second, you will sign in, authorize a virtual payment, or verify your identity at bank.

There’s also an element of security through obscurity at play here. As Redrock pointed out, we all liberally share high-res images of our faces online, but we hardly ever take shots of our palms.

What’s your favorite smartphone locking method?

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