NIST Points to Final Automation Hurdle in N2N Results Report

NIST Points to Final Automation Hurdle in N2N Results ReportThe ability to capture high-quality, rolled fingerprints is within reach, according to a new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report on the recent N2N Challenge.

Entitled “Nail to Nail Fingerprint Challenge: Prize Analysis”, the report details the results of the IARPA-sponsored competition involving groups from the biometric tech industry as well as academia. The aim was to foster innovation in the pursuit of automated technology for scanning an entire fingerprint, nail bed to nail bed, as opposed to the standard fingerprint scanning technology found on many of today’s smartphones, which is designed only to capture a sampling of a user’s fingerprint. Some big names came away from the challenge with awards, including IDEMIA, Jenetric, and Green Bit, which won the top prize in the categories of Gallery Accuracy and Latent Accuracy.

Nevertheless, no one was able to deliver a fully automated system. As report co-author Elham Tabassi explains in a NIST summary, while one competitor delivered “a solution that can provide images at the capture speed, reliability and typical quality level of the traditional, operator-assisted system,” it entailed the catch “that someone was watching and providing feedback to the user from a distance.”

That is effectively the final hurdle to overcome, and to that end the NIST will issue detailed fingerprint data from the challenge to serve as a resource in further research and development. Ultimately, a solution that is fully automated could be of great interest to a number of organizations, particularly in the government sector and law enforcement, where detailed fingerprint data can serve as an important aid in forensic investigations.

May 8, 2018 – by Alex Perala