Today, many access procedures can be easily and conveniently performed by fingerprint capture: two-dimensional fingerprint scanners have long been standard for entry-exit at international airports, in residents' registration offices or for voter registration. However, contactless methods are much more hygienic and increasingly desired, even outside of a pandemic. There is already a growing demand from border control authorities and operators of airports and seaports for the transformation of touch points to solutions that do not require physical contact. These technologies are designed to enable the contactless use of self-service devices through biometrics and other means, addressing travelers’ health concerns and reducing unnecessary queues.
A team of experts from different disciplines, led by JENETRIC GmbH, based in Jena, Germany, has taken up this challenge as part of the 3D Sensation program. As a result, JENETRIC now presents a new generation of a contactless, tamper-proof, and three-dimensional fingerprint scanner that is self-contained, easy to use, and most importantly, works without direct contact. Based on structured illumination, fingers and hands are no longer placed, but arranged in a virtual object area of the fingerprint scanner's optical system and then checked for authenticity. This non-contact 3D technology significantly minimizes the potential risk of viral or bacterial transmission.
Implementing the task was no easy feat, because in addition to the innovative technology and intuitive user design developed by the JENETRIC and its partners, the fingerprint scanner also had to be fast and meet the international standards’ requirements such as those of the FBI for the quality of fingerprints. The result is a demonstration model that captures the fingerprint in full 3D. This must then be converted to a 2D fingerprint image for comparability with fingerprint images already available in databases. With a capture area of 3.2 inches x 3.0 inches (approximately 8.13 cm x 7.62 cm), the integrated virtual object area meets the FBI and BSI specifications for capturing four fingers simultaneously. Image quality certified by the FBI and BSI is a prerequisite for worldwide use in security agency applications.
The demonstrator currently available is already very user-friendly, but still needs to be adapted to be ready for series production. JENETRIC GmbH will now face this challenge to meet the new requirements for affordable touchless 3D fingerprint scanners that provide a high level of usability and certified image quality.