NIST Developing Contactless Fingerprint Scanning Standards

NIST Developing Contactless Fingerprint Scanning StandardsAmerica’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working on developing standards for contactless fingerprint scanning technology.

NIST is, of course, one of the most widely trusted and respected standard-setters for the field of biometrics. The organization works with the FBI’s Biometric Center of Excellence to develop the standards for Government Certified Products lists, and not only the US government but many other agencies and businesses look to these standards when developing and seeking to acquire biometric systems and products.

NIST has previously put out calls for collaboration with researchers and organizations in the private sector in the development of its technological standards, and that is once again the case with respect to contactless fingerprint tech. NIST is currently working with MorphoTrak (Safran) and 3M via Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), and it’s looking for additional partners to help in the work.

The potential benefits of such collaboration are significant, as NIST researchers envision a future in which individuals traveling through security checkpoints can have their hands quickly scanned without any need to press a screen or other interface, allowing for a fast and seamless experience that would likely be in demand in high-volume settings such as airports. But contactless fingerprints are by their nature quite different from those resulting from a finger pressed against a sensor, and NIST needs help in setting these new standards. In a statement, NIST biometrics senior scientist Michael Garris said it’s “very difficult for NIST or technology developers to address these issues independently,” adding, “The CRADA provides a trustworthy environment for industry to come together and openly work with NIST.”

September 8, 2015 – by Alex Perala