Infrared imaging of hand vein patterns for biometric purposes

L. Wang, G. Leedham, S. Y. Cho

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)


A novel non-invasive imaging technique to image the vein patterns in various parts of the hand for biometric purposes is evaluated. Two imaging methods are investigated: far-infrared (FIR) thermography and near-infrared (NIR) imaging. Experiments involving data acquisition from various parts of the hand, including the back of the hand, palm and wrist, were carried out using both imaging techniques. Analysis of the data collected shows that FIR thermography is less successful at capturing veins in the palm and wrist. FIR thermography can capture the large veins in the back of the hand, but it is sensitive to ambient temperature and humidity conditions as well as human body temperature. NIR imaging produces good quality images when capturing veins in the back of the hand, palm and wrist. NIR imaging is also more tolerant to changes in the environment and body condition but faces the problem of pattern corruption because of visible skin features being mistaken for veins. This corruption is not present in FIR imaging. An initial biometric system is investigated to test both FIR and NIR images for biometric purposes. The results show all the subjects were correctly identified, which indicates vein pattern biometrics with infrared imaging is a potentially useful biometric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalIET Computer Vision
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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