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Hitachi Industry & Control Solutions, Ltd.


Door-access-control System by Finger Vein Authentication


Door-access control is a physical security system that assures the security of a room or building by limiting the access to that area to specific people and by keeping records of such accesses.
The most widespread authentication method for such systems is based on ID cards.
However, in the case of ID card systems, on top of the difficulty in preventing another person from attaining and using a legitimate person's ID card.
Hitachi Industry & Control Solutions, Ltd. and Central Laboratory of Hitachi Ltd. has brought to completion of unique biometrics authentication using person's finger vein. This is the most suitable method for controlling door access by a large number of people.
We will show you the features of the developed finger-vein-authentication method and presents applications of this authentication method to door-access control.


Biometrics methods used for personal authentication utilize such features as the face, the voice, the hand shape, the fingerprints, and the iris. Each method has unique characteristics and can be categorized in terms of usability and security as shown in Fig. 1. The main parameters for assessing usability can be evaluated by the following factors:

  • simplicity for the user
  • feeling of resistance
  • speed of authentication
  • level of false-rejection rate

And the main parameters for assessing security can be summed up as follows:

  • difficulty of getting biological data
  • difficulty of forgery
  • low level of false-acceptance rate

Fig1. -Comparison of Various Biometrics Methods.
Each biometric method can be categorized in terms of usability and security

Voice authentication is easy to use however, vocal data can easily be stolen by means of audio technology and forgeries can be made. Face authentication faces a similar problem.
It is not impossible for a stranger to pass off their face as another's by means of donning disguises or holding up a legitimate person's photo. Face and voice authentications are thus only effective methods in an environment in which an attendant or guard is present to ensure that fraud is impossible. Fingerprint authentication is a reliable method widely acknowledged across society.
Although fingerprint authentication is useful for individual applications like PC access, but if it is applied to door-access control, several problems appears from the viewpoint of usability. For example, pressing the whole fingerprint up against a sensor gives an uncomfortable feeling, and the sensor gets dirty, thus decreasing the authentication success ratio. In addition, fingerprint systems have a negative image associated with crime.
Iris authentication uses image processing to authenticate an image of the iris taken by a camera. Though this method is said to provide high security, it is inconvenient from the viewpoint that aligning the eye with the camera takes time.
The newly developed method presented in the following -- called finger-vein authentication -- utilizes the vein pattern inside a person's finger for authenticating that person. Since the above-mentioned methods achieve authentication by utilizing information from the "external" body (i.e. face, fingerprints, iris, etc.), it is not difficult for another person to get that information. On the other hand, information from the "internal" body, such as the vein pattern inside a finger, cannot be acquired so easily. Likewise, internal-body information cannot be forged easily.


The basic principle of the finger-vein authentication System (SecuaVeinAttestor) is shown in Fig. 2. Near-infrared rays generated from a bank of LEDs (light emitting diodes) penetrate the finger and are absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood. The areas in which the rays are absorbed (i.e. veins) appear as dark areas like a shadow in an image taken by a CCD camera equipped in SecuaVeinAttestor.
Image processing can then construct a finger-vein pattern from the camera image. This pattern is then compressed and digitized so that it can be registered as a template of a person's biometric authentication data. The finger-vein pattern and the template can be authenticated by means of a pattern-matching technique. The device (SecuaVeinAttestor ) developed to perform the above -described detection process is shown in Fig. 3.
The part of SecuaVeinAttestor on the right contains the LEDs and the CCD camera. SecuaVeinAttestor is designed to install a wall next to a door so that a person just stands in front of the door of the room they want to enter, inserts a finger into SecuaVeinAttestor. On doing so, an image of the finger-vein pattern is captured and authenticated. This configuration is easy to use from an ergonomic viewpoint since door-access control is performed while the person is standing.
The authentication algorithm is burnt into a microcomputer built in a controller separated from the scanner.
The main features of SecuaVeinAttestor are summarized as follows:

  • Internal biometric information makes forgery difficult.
  • The scanner is structurally non-contact type.
  • speed of authentication
  • level of false-rejection rate

Fig2. -Theory of Finger-vein Authentication.
Near-inrared rays from a vein patten on a CCD camera.

Fig3. -Finger-vein Scanner.
The finger-vein scanner detects the finger-vein patten and sends it to the controller.


Door-access control is a typical adoption of SecuaVeinAttestor shown in Fig. 4. A controller is located at each door and houses a microcomputer system which recalls individuals' biometric information stored in a database , executes the authentication algorithm. This controller manages an automatic door lock and communicates through LAN.
Each controller supports a LAN connection and That is, the authentication status and open/closed information for each door are transmitted in real-time to a server. And the controller has a function to run in stand-alone mode in case that the server or LAN connection is down. The server can manage enrolling individuals' biometric information and download to each controller through LAN.
We will show you some examples of implementation.

Fig4. -Configuration of Door-access System.
All personal data required for opening door are downloaded to the specified controller by the server

Implementation Example 1

Fig. 5 shows an example of the door-access-control system implemented at a office entrance. As shown in the figure, to enter the room, a person puts his/her finger into SecuaVeinAttestor to receive the authentication then automatically unlocks the door in case of success of recognition. As a result of introducing this system, security of this office has been dramatically improved.

Fig5. -Door-access Control for Computer Softweae House.
Personal authentication is required to enter the design room.

Implementation Example 2

Another implementation is a combination with gates system installed in a 37-floor office building in Singapore. For providing security for the whole building, three guards are permanently deployed in the elevator hall on the ground floor to confirm the identities of the people entering the building. To improve the security of the whole building, and reduce the burden on the security guards at the same time, SecuaVeinAttestor with gates was installed in the elevator hall.
Though this gate system performs authentication by means of smart cards, it eliminates the burden of having to carry two cards (one for access to a person's company and one for building access) and provides a high level of security by biometric authentication.
A total of six gates were installed and control the coming and going of about 1,500 people occupying the building.
Fig. 6 shows a scene of SecuaVeinAttestor gates in operation.
Fig. 7 shows SecuaVeinAttestor on an entrance gate.
ADOPTION TO A PC SECURITY We have another desk top type of SecuaVeinAttestor suitable for PC connection and used for PC access control shown in Fig. 8.
Our goals Our company will keep to contribute to the diffusion of the user-friendly and high security SecuaVeinAttestor as a pioneer in development of a finger vein authentication device and software.

Fig6. -Finger-vein-authebtication System for Office Building.
About 1,500 persons are enrolled in this system.

Fig7. -Gate Enquipped with finger-vein Scanner.
The entrance gate is fitted with an authentication scanner.