Aratek’s OEM fingerprint module sensor solution is spurring the development of numerous applications based on fingerprint identification.
Fingerprints are fast becoming an alternative or supplement to passwords and to other more traditional modes of authentication. Yet not just any fingerprint device will do, especially in e-government, banking, and healthcare which require highest standard in fingerprint image and the most accurate algorithm. Care must be taken in selecting devices, taking into consideration build quality, usability, and security.
Optical fingerprint imaging involves the measurement of the differences in reflection between the ridges and valleys on a fingerprint surface. While producing very high-resolution fingerprints, the method is not suited for use in compact systems as its optical path and other equipment such as prisms and lenses make the module bulkier.
In contrast, capacitive fingerprint imaging relies on measuring the differences in capacitance over a fingerprint surface. It’s more compact, making it the ideal choice for small devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets. Capacitive sensors, however, are not known to be the most durable, which may prove to be a challenge when involving millions of presses.
Security-wise, it has been shown that fingerprints can be spoofed using artificial materials, posing a huge threat to governments, banks and institutions using fingerprint authentication. Moreover, during the actual enrollment or identification process, the fingerprint image is subject to environmental factors such as humidity, sunlight, and temperature for thermal sensing technology. The image quality is also determined by the conditions of the finger — which could either be wet, dry, worn, or scarred.