A new security system from Fujitsu aims to improve security in facilities like datacentres by catching attempts to tailgate authorised employees into secure areas.
The system relies on a network of video cameras mounted on the ceiling of the area in front of the access door to the area.
Each of the cameras watches over an area of about one square meter and the video signal is fed to a computer that spots when someone is walking up to the door. If it's a single person then they are allowed to authenticate themselves at the door and enter as normal but if there's someone else in the area the computer won't let the door open until either the second person has also authenticated or until they walk away.
During a demonstration at the company's Fujitsu Forum event in Tokyo the system spotted and followed multiple people around an area of about 6 square meters that was under surveillance by the system. Each of them was highlighted on a computer screen by a different colour dot.
There's at least one catch with the system but it's not a big one: to aid in processing the video data, the colour information is thrown away by the computer, so a carpet or floor with high contrast is needed to help the cameras easily identify people. In the demonstration the floor was covered with alternating black and white floor tiles.
The system was being demonstrated as part of a entire office security system based on Fujitsu's PalmSecure palm-vein authentication technology.
The palm-vein system takes an infrared image of the user's palm that allows the veins inside the palm to be seen. This pattern is matched against a database of registered users as a means of verification. The system takes into account identifying features such as the number of veins, their position and the points at which they cross.
It's said to offer a higher level of security than fingerprint or iris scan and is already in use in more than 18,000 bank ATMs in Japan but hasn't seen widespread adoption by enterprise customers. It's presentation at the Fujitsu Forum -- an event where Fujitsu demonstrates its technology to customers -- attempted to sell the benefits of palm vein to corporate users.
The demo involved an office worker arriving in the morning and gaining access to the office through the palm-vein recognition and used the same technology to punch in to work, open an employee locker and log on to a PC. Because the entire system was linked to a central server, it featured the ability to automatically close down an employee's computer desktop when they leave the building should they have forgotten to do this themselves.