A New Way To Capture Fingerprints
In the world of Biometrics, and for as long as I have been writing about it, Fingerprint Recognition has always been the predominant technology. Of course, some may beg to differ that Hand Geometry Recognition is the big player here. But in my biased view, I prefer the former. Fingerprint Recognition, in today’s times, is being known for two things: 1) Extreme minitarization; and 2) Technological advancements (when compared to the others).
So, it is with point #2 in mind, I bring you the following: “Integrated Biometrics, a South Carolina based innovator in the biometric fingerprint sensor market announced today that they have launched a new FBI certified, two-finger scanner for mobile applications. Named Watson, the device has been tested by The MITRE Corporation and was recently approved for the FBI's IAFIS Appendix F Certified Product List. Watson is the world's first non-optical scanner to achieve this level of certification . . . Weighing in at less than a 1/4 lb. and only 70 mm X 63 mm X 32 mm in size, Watson is the smallest and lightest weight Appendix F, FBI certified, two-finger scanner in the world. Watson's unique performance enables it to serve as an enrollment and/or verification sensor for single or multiple finger applications . . . Watson utilizes Integrated Biometrics' patented LES technology. LES technology uses a highly engineered polymer film that will only read a live fingerprint and works well with dirty fingers. Integrated Biometrics produces the Watson in both an embedded version and a standalone version and includes a complete SDK.” (SOURCE: http://www.findbiometrics.com/industry-news/i/9321/).
To be honest, when I first read this Press Release, I did not think too much of it. But after reading it through a couple more times, it really caught my eye and attention. First, I have never heard of this Biometrics Vendor up until today. From what it sounds like, it seems like that they are on the cutting edge of technology.
Second, this Biometrics solution, has passed some pretty rigorous testing standards by the FBI. From what I have researched about, the so called Appendix F Certification is the most stringent for live scan Biometrics.
Third, the world of minitarization continues ever more for Fingerprint Recognition. For example, as you can see from the above quote, it is extremely small, coming in at ¼ of a pound!!! That is probably the lightest weight I have ever heard about. Can another Biometrics Vendor break this record??? Well, let us stay tuned on that front. Let’s try for 1/10th of a pound?!?!?! This would of course have great market ramifications in the world of Wireless and Smartphones.
Fourth, is the one that caught my eye the most. And that is, this Biometrics solution does not use an optical scanner. Why is this is so important? It is important because probably 99% of the Fingerprint Biometrics in the world today use some sort of optical scanning to capture an image of the fingerprint. The other scanning methods include ultrasound and infrared imaging (this is used primarily for Vein Pattern Recognition). The solution detailed in this posting uses what is known as “LES Technology”. Although I am not privy to all of the technical details of it, apparently, it uses a polymer film to capture a live scan of the fingerprint (it can also support multiple scans, up to two fingerprints at a time).
Given the breakthrough in this technology, it can even capture images from the dirtiest of fingerprints. Another notable feature: This Biometrics solution can also be used in direct sunlight, and can still collect quality fingerprint images (and on top of that, even the scanner does not to be cleaned, supposedly). There is this old adage in the IT industry (yes, even Security), that legacy systems will soon die. While this could hold true for some of the Biometric Technologies (especially Hand Geometry Recognition), my prediction is that this will not be the case for Fingerprint Recognition.
Given the advancements it makes, and especially given this one, this is a Biometrics solution which will be around for a long, long, long time. But will I live to see one day become a legacy technology? Probably not. That is just how powerful and dynamic it is.