Hitachi has always been hot for vein authentication modules, and its latest iteration takes the whole tech down to just three millimeters in thickness. Given that the current generation requires 23.5mm (nearly an inch) of space to operate in, it's easy to see why your netbook doesn't have one, but Hitachi hopes that's all about to change. Using a CMOS sensor to take almost instant readings, the vein scanner is deadly accurate -- there's only a one in a million chance of it authorizing the wrong person. Volume production is expected within two years, meaning that by 2011 you'll finally have a reliable way to keep your parents out of your "Misc" data folders.

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Hitachi builds 3mm-thick vein scanner in its Transylvanian lair