Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"It was [H.G. Wells'] adolescent fiction, his imaginative stories, that live forever - and yet are not acknowledged in literature classes as being great literature. So to hell with the academics!"
- Greg Bear

Palm Lock  
  A lock or seal which can be opened only by contact with the palm of the human hand to which it has been keyed.  

This is another wonderful creation of Herbert's. It is not clear if the lock is part of the knob or device that opens the door, or is just a lock.

Jessica put a hand on the rail, began to climb. The rail felt cold under her sliding palm. She stopped at the door, saw it had no handle, but there was a faint depression on the surface of it where a handle should have been.

Surely not a palm lock, she told herself. A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape and palm lines. But it looked like a palm lock. And there were ways to open any palm lock--as she had learned at school.

Jessica glanced back to make certain she was unobserved, placed her palm against the depression in the door. The most gentle of pressures to distort the lines--a turn of the wrist, another turn, a sliding twist of the palm across the surface.

She felt the click.

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

Fingerprints are held to be unique; I wonder if a human palm offers more points for comparison, and is therefore more secure?

The need for greater data security has led to the use of a variety of biometric identification system. Recently, a device as small and inexpensive as a Pocket PC was made available with a reliable fingerprint scanner.

Significant work has been done in the last few years on palmprint identification. Some potential advantages may exist; the hand geometry and major palm creases can be captured using a lower resolution device. The device in Dune seems to rely only on the print.

It turns out that Herbert's palm lock is not the earliest reference in science fiction to this kind of biometric identification system; see the palm plate from The Mechanical Monarch, a 1958 novel by E.C. Tubb.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Palm Lock-related news articles:
  - Biometric HandReader - Frank Herbert's Palm Lock?
  - Biometric Deadbolt Lock Like A Palm Lock
  - Fujitsu PalmSecure Hand Vein Scanner

Articles related to Security
Flimmer Navy Drone Flies And Swims
Indian Court Says Brain Scan Proves Murder
Background Draw-a-Secret (BDAS) Makes Graphical Passwords
ID-U Biometrics Eye Tracking Signature

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.