Competition Seeks Automated N2N Fingerprint Capture

A new government-led competition is launching to improve roll-based fingerprint scanning. Called the “Nail to Nail Fingerprint Challenge”, it’s being organized by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), a branch of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

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By IARPA’s standards, the current methodology for capturing N2N fingerprints – that is, the entire fingerprint, from one side of the nailbed to the other – requires a human operator to roll a subject’s finger effectively. IARPA’s goal is to move toward a system that would be automated, and to that end has launched the contest, with participants eligible to win prizes valued at up to $325,000.

The competition will unfold in two stages this coming autumn, and will conclude with a live test in Washington, DC. In a statement announcing the N2N Fingerprint Challenge, IARPA said it welcomes the entrants from “the broader research community of industry and academia,” with participation being “convenient, efficient, and non-contractual”.

Given the eagerness with which companies compete in other research-driven testing initiatives like those organized by NIST, there is reason to expect that IARPA’s new competition will see some interest from the fingerprint biometrics community.

January 27, 2017 – by Alex Perala