According to a story reported by CBC News, University of Windsor researchers are working towards improving the method through which fingerprints are scanned in law enforcement, military and border control situations. The goal of the project is to create a scanner that can successfully capture fingerprint images on subjects that have had their digits damaged either through work, by accident or on purpose.
So far, the group of researches has met success, building a biometric system can can scan a finger and produce a 3D image detailing 2mm into the subject’s skin. The team has built a second prototype of this device which can already be used.
Aryaz Baradarani, a member of the Windsor research team working on the project told the CBC, “What we do here is unlike current, existing fingerprint devices in market which are optical.”
Baradarani explained that rather than simply taking a high resolution photograph, the team’s system reconstructs fingerprint patterns from the surface of the skin, working from the internal layers of a finger.
“For example,” he continued, “criminals are simply able to manipulate the surface of the skin, for that reason we are actually planning to offer fingerprint pattern not from the surface of the skin, but from internal layers.”
The research team has already shown their new biometric solution to the FBI. A foreseeable adoption obstacle of the new technology is that the newly operational Next Generation Identification system used by the Bureau, which contains an enormous database of fingerprint biometrics, was compiled using optical methods detailing the surface of the print.
Baradarani told the CBC, “If you’re going to identify people with this technology we’re going to have to make a large database and identify them based on these features.”
Though the method proposed by the researchers utilizes new methods of obtaining subsurface fingerprint patterns, it is worth noting that there are optical biometric solutions on the market that can work with damaged prints too.
Lumidigm’s multispectral imaging technology specifically allows for the scanning of the patterns underneath the surface of a subject’s skin. This feature has been to Lumidigm’s advantage in a number of deployments all over the world, particularly in vaccination tracking, where users often have damaged or dirty fingers.
September 25, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter