Hitachi, Tobu Railway team up on biometric ID system

Hitachi and Tobu Railway are developing a biometric identification system that can recognize users by their faces and the veins in their fingers. They say it will allow shoppers to make payments and accumulate loyalty points without using their credit cards.

The companies say the system will make shopping easier and relieve congestion at cash registers. Store clerks will no longer have to ask for ID when registered users buy alcohol.

The companies are now working on putting the system into commercial use. They are planning to install it at self-checkout kiosks in select supermarkets around Tokyo by the end of the fiscal year.

They also say they hope to eventually introduce the system to gyms and hotels as a way to ease the effects of staff shortages.

"We hope the biometric ID system will be a solution to the labor shortage," says Yoshida Takahiro of Hitachi.

The companies add they are confident the system will enter widespread use because it ensures a high level of security.