IBM has teamed up with Fujitsu to undertake a big shift towards using biometric hand scanners, over passwords, for secure access to programs in client businesses.
IBM sells computer security systems that act as sign-on program, limiting who can use programs within companies. The old product uses a simple password system, but the new hardware involves a near-infrared light to read the pattern of veins that runs throughout a person's palm. Each vein pattern is sufficiently unique that this results in a different biometric password for each person granted access to the system.
As you might have seen in spy movies, or read in spy books, one sneaky way to get around hand scanners is putting a transparent film on hand scanners, to collect a person's hand print. But that old trick won't here: using Fujitsu's PalmSecure hardware and software, a hand can just be waved in front of the scanner -- it doesn't actually have to touch anything.
Tying the new product into the hype of the H1N1 mega-mutant virus that is supposedly currently decimating the Earth and a danger to all human civilization, a Fujitsu spokesperson said: "We've seen lots of concerns with fingerprint technology, especially with the H1N1 scare...with contact-less technology, you don't have to touch anything."
Additionally, according to IBM, another selling point of this product is that money saved in IT costs from system administrators having to reassign workers with lost passwords.
Below is a video detailing the device, if you are interested: