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Surprising Science

This System Recognizes The Blood Vessels UNDER Your Face

Guess what else is as unique as your fingerprint and can be scanned using a special infrared camera? Scientists in India have created an algorithm that can analyze such scans to over 97 percent accuracy.

What’s the Latest Development?

A paper soon to be published in International Journal of Computational Intelligence Studies describes how scientists at Jadavpur University in Kolkata came up with a identification system that is all but foolproof: By scanning a person’s face using an infrared thermal imaging camera, a computer algorithm can analyze the pattern of blood vessels beneath that face “almost down to the smallest capillary” and determine the identity of its owner with up to 97 percent accuracy. Combined with an additional form of ID, such as a PIN, the system could satisfy even the most stringent security requirements.

What’s the Big Idea?

While other unique biometric identifiers such as fingerprints and irises can be duplicated via means ranging from simple to complex, it’s nearly impossible — as of right now, at least — to fake someone else’s facial blood vessel map. Even if a “mask” of sorts could be created, the thermal camera would be able to detect the impostor’s actual blood vessel map beneath it. With facial recognition systems already being used in law enforcement and other sectors, this new technology could make it even more difficult to hide in plain sight.

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