Palm scanning? How is that better than fingerprint scanning?
Well, the big deal with palm vein scanning (Fujitsu’s technology is called PalmSecure) is that it’s touch-free: instead of pressing your fingertip onto a sensor, you hold your hand palm-down over one. It’s more hygienic, you see.
How does it actually work?
Listen up carefully, because this is scientific. Using near-infrared rays, the sensor is capable of reading the pattern of veins in your hand. The rays are absorbed by the deoxidised haemoglobin in the veins, and this causes them to appear as a black pattern in the scanner – a pattern which is particular to your hand only.
But what if someone chops off my hand – won’t they be able to use it to get into my private files?
Nope. The blood has to be actively flowing through your veins. So your laptop is safe. You’ll still be down one hand, mind you. But swings and roundabouts.
Is PalmSecure only available on the one laptop?
At first, yes. But Fujitsu is using the Lifebook U904 as a way to showcase the technology. It sees it being implemented into all sorts of devices in the future as a replacement for passwords – not to mention using it for entry into secure buildings.
And what about the laptop itself?
The Lifebook U904 is a business-centric Ultrabook with a 14in screen and very portable design – it’s just 15.5mm in depth and 1.4kg in weight. Fujitsu claims that it’s the thinnest business-class laptop on the market, in fact.
The screen packs in an insane amount of pixels, boasting a 3200 x 1400 resolution, and there’ll be an option to make this a touchscreen if you wish. Another option is a wireless 3G/4G data connection – but of course these things will bump up the price significantly.
So what is the price?
Fujitsu hasn’t officially announced that yet, but it’s likely to set you back at least £1000 even for the base-level configuration.