Thought Leadership

Contactless Authentication– The way forward

By September 22, 2020October 13th, 2020No Comments

If we think of the number of organisations and institutions that can benefit from reliable, no-touch identification, the list seems endless: The Food and Beverage industry, Healthcare, Retail, Manufacturing, Banking and Finance, you name it … The National Institute of Standards and Technology in the USA estimates that the biometrics business will be worth a cool $60 billion by 2025. But why, you may ask?

Let’s have a look at travel. If one considers the catch-up the aviation industry will need to do to woo back passengers, contactless authentication no doubt holds the key to their efforts. In the week before lockdown, close on 8 000 flights departed from major airports in the UK. A week later, after restrictions had been imposed, fewer than 700 planes took to the air from the very same airports. That’s around 9%, folks. So, faster check-in and efficiencies to avoid queues and ensure maximum passenger safety will no doubt mean the difference between re-establishing profitability and not. This will only be possible in a contactless authentication environment. And, while biometrics such as fingerprint, iris and voice recognition are becoming more common, even more reliable forms of identification are being developed as we speak.

One of the breakthrough technologies is that of PalmID. A hand palm presents a much larger spatial scale, and subsequently holds more data points than most other unique facial features. This means that it can be more accurate than other forms of identification. It is one of the most secure forms of authentication because it requires a person to present their palm to a camera as close as 15 cm away to be in focus and recognisable. The Palm identification module uses advanced vision technology to transfer RGB light (Red, Green and Blue light) to the device in question. RGB light is, in fact, a combination of the primary colours in various levels of intensity to create just about any colour visible to the human eye. The images are then captured by sophisticated infrared (IR) cameras to ensure optimal definition.

The great news is that organisations that wish to adopt this technology need not invest in additional proprietary devices to achieve the desired result. The technology is fully compatible with HD and ultra-violet light cameras currently available on readily available tools. This also means that the devices deployed are interchangeable.

Another benefit of palm recognition is that, as part of a limb, a hand palm remains stable throughout one’s life, while other aspects of our bodies are likely to change as time marches on. The biometric characteristics encoded in the hand are virtually impossible to replicate, and the technology works in a range of lighting types. Furthermore, this new tech can eliminate the distracting effects of things such as dirt on the hands.

Well, there we have it. While Corona has robbed us of a reassuring handshake, our hands still come to the rescue to provide a trusted contactless authentication solution. Let’s (not) shake on it!

Need a partner to assist you with your contactless authentication requirements?


Altron Managed Solutions

1 Vlak Street, Selby Ext. 5, 2092, Gauteng,
South Africa
PO Box 3591, Johannesburg, 2000,
Gauteng, South Africa

+27 (11) 373 4000