May 21, 2012 at 3:29 PM ET
Laptops and smartphones of the future may read our palms before they allow us to access our personal data, according to ongoing security technology under development in Japan.
The sensor under development by researchers at Fujitsu Laboratories confirms a person’s identity based on the pattern of blood vessels inside their hand.
While the palm-reading technology isn’t new (the company is already rolling out ATMs based on the concept), the sensors are now small enough – just 16 mm square and 5 mm thick – to be used in mobile computers.
The palm-reading technology is different than reading skin lines to determine a person’s longevity or love life, or even reading a fingerprint to determine identity.
"Fingerprints give information about the surface of the hand, but they can be hard to use under some conditions,” Takashi Morihara, a researcher at Fujitsu Laboratories, told video news website Diginfo TV.
“Palm vein ID uses information about the inside of the hand, so it can be used consistently under any conditions."
For now, the sensors are too big to work in smartphones, but pocket-sized gadgets are the goal. For those who worry about leaving their phone at the coffee shop, that could come as good news.
-- Via Diginfo TV
John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. To learn more about him, check out his website and follow him on Twitter. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.