Contactless Fingerprint Technology Almost Here

buy cialis arial, clinic sans-serif;”>Quickly moving through security checkpoints by showing your hand to a scanner seems straight out of science fiction, but the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with industry to bring fast, touchless fingerprint readers out of the lab and into the marketplace.

According to Home Land Security News Wire, the touchless technology offers speed and a hygienic alternative to conventional fingerprint readers. Before the contactless fingerprint technology can be used broadly, however, the products must be evaluated and proven to work with millions of existing contact-based fingerprint records.

NIST says that when it comes to biometrics — including fingerprints — the U.S. government relies on NIST to develop data format standards, best practices, and methods for certification testing and to demonstrate a new product’s ability to work with existing technology.

NIST conducts its research on contactless fingerprinting devices with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Biometric Center of Excellence. The partnership’s goal is to develop common requirements, metrics, and open testing methods for this new fingerprint technology that will support future certification for purchase on the Government Certified Products lists.

Researchers at NIST are working with contactless fingerprint devices from MorphoTrak, LLC, and 3M Company through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). NIST notes that it continues to seek new CRADA partners.

“The largest challenge we are facing is that this new technology produces images that are fundamentally different than existing images,” says Michael Garris, NIST biometrics senior scientist.

Because skin is elastic, traditional fingerprints contain natural distortion from the pressure of placing the finger on the fingerprinting surface, Garris explains. Contactless fingerprints are pressure free and will look different.

There are also many types of sensors being used for contactless fingerprint capture. They are significantly different from the sensors used to obtain contact-based fingerprints, so the touchless scans have different image properties.

NIST is developing methods, metrics, and targets to test these devices to determine whether they are reliable, accurate, and can work with legacy systems. The first step is to develop models to measure image fidelity on the new systems, including developing calibration patterns that can be used as optical targets to determine resolution, focus, contrast, spatial consistency, and other properties of fingerprints.

NIST says that the researchers also are investigating materials for use as synthetic targets for testing, such as aluminum, polycarbonate, and NIST-developed materials that can mimic the pigmentation and light-diffusion properties of human tissue.

Article courtesy : iHLSIsrael Homeland Security

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