A recent patent filing by Chinese tech giant OPPO may hint that the company is going to go with a different approach to biometric authentication for its future wearable releases.
The patent — filed under number CN110298944B and titled “Venous Unlocking Method and Vein Unlocking Device” — looks into using vein-mapping technology to authenticate users.
Though not nearly as popular as facial, fingerprint or iris recognition – modalities that have dominated the mobile market for several years now – vein biometrics have been growing in popularity over the past several months. The reasons for this are many, including the advanced security the technology promises as well as its contactless use cases, a point that has become more popular in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, FinGo’s vascular recognition tech, normally used in the contactless payments market, was integrated into an immunity credentials program in the U.K.; meanwhile, a patent filed in July of 2020 by Apple points to the possible future use of vein recognition tech in concert with the company’s Face ID facial recognition solution to unlock future iPhones.
As for OPPO’s patent, though there’s no way to know exactly how it would work if it did make it to market, it’s possible that it could be similar to competitor LG’s Hand ID solution, which would map the thickness and other unique characteristics of a user’s veins for authentication.
It should be pointed out, however, that as is the case with any patent, the tech featured in this one may never actually find its way into a commercial product.