Eyeball scanners and heart monitors: the top emerging security solutions of 2015

It's all in the wave

Thanks to Hitachi's new finger vein sensor, going through airport security, entering a large stadium or venue, or even opening your secured office doors can be easier. With a finger vein sensor, users simply wave their hands or fingers over a scanner to gain entry.

The system requires prior registration to prevent unauthorized access into a secured location. Once registered, a user is able to confirm their identity by waving their hand over the scanner. The scanner can process about 70 users per minute, or roughly the rate that subway gates in Tokyo process commuters.

Compared to traditional fingerprint scans, Hitachi's VeinID promises better accuracy and speed. Like fingerprint scanners, Hitachi's finger vein readers could replace passwords and logins, and Hitachi claims a low false acceptance rate of 0.0001%.

The smaller version of finger vein sensor has been available to PC users for some time now, and Hitachi's VeinID has been adopted by Barclays banks to secure logins. The large venue solution could soon allow high tech facilities to replace badges, key access cards, and PIN entry locks with biometric tech for access.

A cousin to finger vein sensor is palm vein sensor, a technology called PalmSecure that rival Fujitsu has been using on some of its enterprise laptops.

Marching to the beat of your own heart

With wearables becoming a hot topic and health-tracking smartwatches about to take off with Apple joining the fray with the Apple Watch, heartbeat sensors could become a viable authenticator.

Companies like Bionym with its Nymi wearable could identify the wearer's unique heartbeat and allow them to unlock a phone or tablet. The premise is that the wearer would wear a wristband that records an ECG rhythm for identification.

According to Bionym, it doesn't matter if your heart is beating faster because you're nervous. A heartbeat is unique to a person, and Nymi looks at the electrocardiogram waves to identify the wearer.

The technology is being trialed by Halifax bank in the UK currently, allowing customers to log into their bank accounts without having to type in their credentials and passwords.