We don't know anybody who seriously relies on biometrics -- except, of course, those of you who rushed out late last year to pick up your very own BioMirage Coffer -- but if this is your bag, take note: Sony has just announced Mofiria, their new high speed, compact biometric solution for mobile devices. Similar to Fujitsu's PalmSecure, the technology uses near infrared LEDs and a CMOS sensor to capture a snapshot of your veins. Apparently, vein patterns vary from person to person and from finger to finger, and don't change throughout a person's life -- making them perfect for use in authentication. Of course, passwords should also vary from person to person, and computer to computer, but Sony won't ever be able to charge extra for a secure password. And that's really what all this is about, isn't it? No word on a price yet, but this bad boy should roll out sometime in 2009. PR after the break.


Sony Develops Compact Sized, High Speed, High Accuracy Finger Vein Authentication Technology Dubbed "mofiria"

Tokyo, Japan – Sony Corporation today announced the development of a finger vein authentication technology called "mofiria." The user-friendly technology offers quick response and high accuracy and comes in a compact size for mounting on mobile devices such as a personal computer or mobile phone.

With the increase of networked products and services, a user-friendly interface for personal authentication and higher security of personal information is in great demand.

Compared to the other biometric authentication techniques, vein authentication technology achieves higher accuracy on personal identification and forgery resistance because it uses the veins inside the human body. Finger vein patterns differ from person to person, each finger to finger, and it is said that they do not change over the years. "mofiria" uses a unique method where a CMOS sensor diagonally captures scattered light inside the finger veins, making a plane layout possible. As a result, a small and more flexible design can be realized in building this technology into mobile devices.

The vein pattern is extracted from the captured finger vein image, and data from the pattern is compressed into the size of one-tenth to store in memory, which makes it possible for the data to be stored on a mobile device.

Sony's unique algorithm achieves fast and easy operation. The vein pattern is quickly and accurately extracted from the captured finger vein image without a fixed finger position, as the position of a placed finger is automatically and simultaneously corrected. As a result, the authentication accuracy is less than 0.1% for the FRR (False Rejection Rate), less than 0.0001% for the FAR (False Acceptance Rate), and processing time for identification takes only about 0.015 sec*1 using a personal computer CPU and about 0.25 sec*2 when using a mobile phone CPU.

Sony plans to promote the "mofiria" technology for use in mobile devices, gateway security systems and solution services. Sony will aim for commercializing this technology within the 2009 fiscal year.

Main characteristics of "mofiria"

1) Compact size realized by "reflecting scattering light method"
2) Fast data processing using a unique algorithm
3) High accuracy and user-friendly interface with automatic correction of the finger position