Conventional means of identification such as passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) can easily be stolen or forgotten. Convenience, reliable performance, and PIN-less transaction authentications are among the top reasons for adoption of biometrics as a possible alternative in determining the identities of users.
Biometric person recognition refers to the process of automatically recognising a person using distinguishing behavioural physiological traits. Fingerprint, voice, facial recognition, and iris scans are the key technologies having a signiﬁcant presence in this segment. More recently, novel biometric modalities such as vein recognition have emerged mainly due to the development of sensor technologies.
This proposed identification method is based on the pattern of the blood vessels of a person’s hand or finger. This pattern does not evolve in time and contains enough distinctive information to be used as a person recognition method.
The aim of the project 3D FingerVein Biometric (3DFVB) is to investigate and develop a novel biometric recognition technology with enhanced accuracy and robustness against spoofing attacks based on finger vein recognition. We are developing with our partner HES-SO Valais a low-cost portable acquisition system. Transmitted light will be used for the acquisition system as quality images are easier to obtain than when using reflected light. The system will be small and light enough to be portable and will be especially robust to extreme weather conditions and power fluctuations. This system will be used to acquire a database of finger vein images.
With our partner IDIAP, we are developing 3D reconstruction method to build the 3D finger vein pattern and a matching method to compare and match 3D finger vein patterns allowing reliable authentication. Unequivocally, our technology is a necessity for any kind of business transaction, and is extremely needed by big organizations like government agencies, telecoms, banks or hospitals and finances.
Protection of the privacy
Secure identification is a major issue in many countries. It could strengthen national security. At the same time, secure measures are potential privacy threats and privacy concerns are not a priority. Nations often have to trade national security with people privacy.
Our technology aims at strengthening both security and privacy at the same time. Privacy will be a central theme. We also aim at achieving it at a low cost. If successful, this could have an important impact. We will show that strong privacy preservation is possible without degrading security.
Privacy includes various forms. It is desirable to prevent unauthorized access to personal information and unauthorized people tracking. Current standards suffer from many drawbacks. Typically, we can detect eMRTD (Machine Readable Travel Documents) without authorization, recognize their country, and recognize eMRTD which have been scanned before. Current eMRTD leak transferable digital evidence of private information. Some bits of information about sensitive data groups leak. Finally, access control suffers from a poor revocation mechanism for authorized readers.
We will fix these shortcomings using some cryptographic algorithms such as zero-knowledge proofs, invisible signatures, homomorphic encryption developed at EPFL .
Applications for developing countries
The main market innovations are cost, accuracy and reliability of 3DFVB device in difficult environmental conditions found in emerging countries. We would provide a secure, highly accurate, weather resilient and autonomous (solar and battery powered) real-time identification system at affordable prices to emerging countries. Biometric systems are still considered as a “luxury” in these countries because of their high acquisition, maintenance and operating costs. We would offer our 3DFVB solution at a fraction of the cost of existing suboptimal and less powerful solutions without compromising quality and expected performance. Our price policy will be adapted to the economic context of emerging countries. For example, the acquisition cost of our devices will be free, which is a great opportunity offered to our potential customers given that many of the vendors sell them for hundreds of Swiss Franc.