Samsung Files Patent for Biometric Security in Wearable Devices

Fingerprint scanners are only starting to be adopted in personal devices – particularly smartphones – around the world. However, a patent filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reveals that Samsung is looking at an advanced biometric system that authenticates by sensing a user’s vein structure (!) and pulse that comes in contact with wearables.

As internet-enabled personal devices become the norm, it is important to ensure that security is held at a high standard without being too cumbersome. While fingerprint scanners are being bundled into smartphones lately, smartwatches and other wearables are often touted to be the next big step in personal internet-enabled personal devices.

Samsung Patent

With this in mind, Samsung’s latest patent application shows the Korean hardware manufacturer looking at a novel means through which a user can be authenticated. The global electronics giant is looking at the concept of a smartwatch that can recognize you by your veins.

An Advanced Scanner

Samsung describes the system as one similar to a fingerprint scanner that are commonly found in smartphones. The patent shows a system that contains light censors along with a camera sensor that tracks the wearer’s vein structure. Furthermore, the sensor even has the ability to detect the user’s unique pulse. Working in tandem, the security system deems the readings unique, just like finger scanner-enabled phones do with their users.

The sensor is likely to be based on infra-red technology with the panel of the sensor mounted on the side of the wearable device, in this case – a smartwatch.

Samsung Patent 1

The patent reveals a camera sensor that scans the area on the back of a user’s palm to record the structure of the veins in its memory. Every authentication attempt will take its cue from this image when the sensor scans the vein structure of a user before positively identifying the user.

The patent was originally filed on July 29, 2015 and was published on February 4, 2016.

Images from Shutterstock and USPTO Patent Filing.

Samburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.