Want to withdraw cash? Hold out your palm, please.

Kenji Hall

Want to withdraw cash? Hold out your palm, please.

Fujitsu has just outdone itself in biometrics. Nearly two years ago, the company got rave reviews for developing a security system that can read the veins in a person's hand. That's right--the VEINS. Now, the system just got better. It's smaller, faster and less expensive, and it's so compact that techies might want to hook one up to the USB port of a notebook or desktop PC at home ($4,000, anyone?). Practically speaking, the technology will probably spread in the business world first. Imagine this: You stride up to your bank ATM, hold out your hand and within seconds VOILA! Access to your account. No plastic card and no passcode. Fujitsu thinks its system can be tweaked for home security, library book lending, and--who knows?--maybe even as a payment method for commuters taking the subway.

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