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24.8.2021 – Global ID has just unveiled its new vein-recognition scanner for use in biometric authentication. Called the VenoScanner, it employs Global ID’s proprietary technology to scan multiple views of the vein patterns in a user’s finger. CSEM worked with Global ID to miniaturize the technology and develop a compact device that is now ready for market launch. Several prospective international clients and systems integrators have already expressed an interest. 

Biometric identification technology – which includes digital-fingerprint scanners and face-, vocal- and iris-recognition systems – is already used widely in the realms of security, healthcare and safety. The catch is that biometric readings are often replicable, meaning they can be falsified and used to access personal data without their owners’ consent. Global ID, founded in 2017, has developed a system that gets around this problem. Its new vascular biometrics scanner, the VenoScanner, works by taking multiple scans of the vein pattern in a user’s finger and generating a unique vein map – or biometric key – that is all but impossible to replicate.

Global ID had already tested prototypes of its technology at several sites, including the Jura cantonal hospital, and worked with CSEM engineers to miniaturize the design for the new VenoScanner. “In addition to the physical device, our system contains robust data-security capabilities we developed in association with EPFL, the Idiap Research Institute and HES-SO Valais,” says Yasmina Sandoz, Global ID’s Marketing and Communications Manager. “The data are encrypted from end to end, and the biometric information is continuously converted into random codes so it cannot be read or circulated. In addition, users’ personal data and biometric keys are stored on different server databases, which means the data cannot be accessed without their consent, thereby ensuring full confidentiality.”

Hospitals, NGOs and even banks

Several prospective clients and systems integrators have already expressed an interest in Global ID’s device and infrastructure. For instance, the NGO Mercy Ships is looking into using the VenoScanner to authenticate patients and manage patient files on the two hospital ships it operates off the coast of Africa.

Global ID is also in talks with hospitals in Switzerland and abroad to set up secure-access systems for their facilities and for storage areas with specific medications. Banks are considering the VenoScanner as another security layer for online transactions and access to highly secure areas.

Meanwhile, systems integrators such as ELCA and Oratek are investigating the potential of Global ID’s new technology.

How it works 

The VenoScanner’s two big advantages are that it is lightweight and easy to use. Once the user places their finger in the scanner, the device generates a vein map almost instantly and a highly secure system encrypts the biometric data as soon as the first images are scanned. CSEM engineers provided their expertise in miniaturization and optimization, resulting in a compact device that is no bigger than an apple. Furthermore, the VenoScanner is fully portable since it runs on a battery and a Wi-Fi connection.

“We were delighted to team up with CSEM, whose teams helped us create a market-ready device,” says Lambert Sonna, the CEO of Global ID. “Now we’ll configure our device to be better aligned with the needs of specific customers. Several investors – including those at Promote SA, based in La Chaux-de-Fonds – are keenly interested in supporting our market entry. We’re looking forward to bringing them in on our venture, which I believe will disrupt the market.”

In addition to its new VenoScanner, Global ID is also working on a floating-hand device called Candy, which is being developed in association with the Idiap Research Institute. Candy will be revealed publicly some time in 2022.