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Monday, January 5, 2009

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Fingerprint technology - new era of security?

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History of fingerprint technology, algorithms and security

Fingerprint recognition technology look back on a more than 10 years lasting successful evolution history. Their first great use they had around 1996, when Siemens, under the conduction of their research division, took up an old patent from 1980 which dealt with the construction of silicon-based capacitive fingerprint sensors. The first functional sensors from the Siemens research labs proved to be a real challenge to the algorithms, which have been developed by Siemens PSE in Graz (Austria). This concerned sensor size as well as image quality which was still rather poor at that time. At the same time a further fundamental patent was generated, that allowed a biometrics performance which was unrivaled by then, especially for small sensors. This patent describes the fusion of small-sized sensor images towards a larger-sized overall fingerprint image.

These days fingerprint algorithms do not only perform excellently on small-sized and thus inexpensive sensors but also with large-sized and non-capacitive ones.

Since 1995 fingerprint technology have continuously been enhanced with respect to biometric performance but also with respect to fake protection.

Where fingerprint is used?

You've seen enough spy movies to know how this goes: fingerprint lock or open door, fingerprint lock or unlock computers, unlock alarms, files etc.

These days, every of those “spy movies” fingerprint technologies became commercial. You can buy fingerprint lock in store, find fingerprint scanner at latest laptop computers, open files with fingerprint USB, even your fingerprints may soon replace credit cards and in the near future it will be possible to buy a product by paying through fingerprints.

I hope that this short overview of fingerprint technology introduce you to the secrets of fingerprint technology and its usage in the modern era. If you like to read more about history and algorithms of fingerprint technologies visit Wikipedia.

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