We’ve all seen movies in which palm scans and retinal scans are integral to the plot (e.g., Minority Report—although I won’t spoil the movie for you by detailing how retinal scans are used and the lengths Tom Cruise’s character must go to because of them). The use of biometrics for security might still seem like fiction, but more and more companies are using biometric devices such as fingerprint readers, iris scanners, and voice-recognition devices. One of the problems with these tools is that they can be fooled. For example, a gummy bear can be used to fairly easily duplicate a fingerprint, an iris scanner might recognize a photograph of an eye, and voice-recognition software can be tricked with audio recordings. In addition, fingerprint readers and iris scanners are perceived as invasive (and potentially damaging, in the case of the retinal scan). A more reliable and publicly acceptable biometric solution is palm scanning. Palm scans map the entire venous system of the hand in a way that can’t be duplicated, and palm scanning typically isn’t seen as intrusive.

A new release from Fujitsu combines the company’s palm scanning technology, called PalmSecure, with single sign-on (SSO) capabilities to deliver a unique security and identity management solution—a biometric PC mouse. PalmSecure LOGONDIRECTOR eliminates the need for passwords. You simply wave your hand over the mouse, which has an embedded palm scanning device, and wait for logon authentication. The device compares your palm to its stored template of your palm, with which you registered and activated the device.

This combination of identity management and SSO solutions makes it easier for companies to comply with industry regulations such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley. In addition, deactivating an account for an employee who has left the company involves simply deleting the employee’s PalmSecure profile. It might seem like technology of the future, but it’s here—and it’s cool!