New Vein-Reading Tech Could Unlock Your Car Door

The future of keyfobs is integrated wearables. Here’s another step towards security.

Samsung Vein Identification
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Fingerprint identification? How about the web of veins on the back of your hand. Korean electronics giant Samsung has filed a patent for a wearable device equipped with veinous-scanning digital lock. This technology isn’t new, but the patent signals the first mainstream adaptation. It’s the latest anti-theft precaution for wearables, which are becoming tethered to cars with increasing frequency.

Mostly, Samsung is interested in making doubly sure that wrist-worn wearables are secure at the grocery checkout, since this form of payment is only going to proliferate. But the vein scan could be used as part of a belt-and-suspenders security ecosystem, combined with any number of other biometric scans, from voice I.D. to fingerprint registry. Doubtless the tech could also be integrated directly into a car’s cockpit, too, where a limited number of drivers can register their biometrics so that the car automatically recognizes their hand at the door handle and the steering wheel.

If the future of keyfobs is integrated into wearables—as Jaguar thinks it is—expect to see more of these kinds of secondary measures show up.

United States Patent and Trademark Office