Fingerprint scanners are essential biometric devices for a wide range of identity and security applications, including voter registration, financial transactions, and border control, among others. Because of their high accuracy, cost-efficiency, and ease of use, fingerprint scanners have been widely used in both commercial and academic settings for decades.
But what is a biometric fingerprint scanner, and how do you know if it's the best security solution for you?
In this guide, we'll look at how biometric fingerprint scanners work (through the entire Aratek biometrics product line) and what you need to know before buying and using one.
A fingerprint scanner is a biometric device that scans your fingerprint and matches it to a database of authorized users to confirm your identity.
The main parts of a fingerprint scanner are the fingerprint sensor module, the CPU, a plastic shell, and a USB cable. Here is what they do:
The most common type of fingerprint scanner is the single finger scanner. These are the smallest, most affordable, and easiest to install, making them ideal for use in both large and small facilities and sites for access control or identity verification. The multi-finger types, which include two finger and ten-print types, are larger and are commonly used by law enforcement and government agencies for enrollment and identification.
The fingerprint scanner is an important biometric machine device not only for personal security, but also for digital identity and inclusion, which is critical for the success of various government public service initiatives aimed at improving people's lives, such as India's Aadhaar project.
The fingerprint scanner is used in a variety of fingerprint recognition settings today, from hospitals to business security, government offices to residential communities, and more applications are on the way as fingerprint biometric technology becomes more widely available.
The biometric fingerprint scanner is classified into several types based on the sensing technology used or the capture area dimension of the scanner. The following is a summary of the most common types of biometric fingerprint scanners available on the market today.
Based on the scanning method employed, fingerprint scanners can be classified as either optical, capacitive, thermal, or ultrasonic. But here, we'll just talk about the two most common ones here: optical and capacitive.
Optical fingerprint scanners use a lens to capture the fingerprint image and detect unique ridge patterns on the finger. It works by illuminating the finger with a light source, such as an LED or laser, and then creating an image of the fingerprint with an optical lens. The light reflected from the finger is then detected and converted into electronic signals by the CCD or CMOS image sensor.
The microprocessor then processes these signals to create a digital fingerprint image. The digital fingerprint image data is then converted into binary code and saved in the computer for further processing. All of these steps are completed in seconds, making this type of scanner extremely fast at capturing fingerprints and making the prints available for immediate identification.
The optical fingerprint scanner has a very high level of accuracy and can capture fingerprints with a variety of different levels of impression. Optical fingerprint scanners, on the other hand, are prone to false rejects and aren't always able to capture a good image because of poor lighting or dirty fingerprints.
Aratek, a key global provider of fingerprint scanners, offers a comprehensive optical fingerprint scanner product line ranging from single finger, dual fingerprint, to 4-4-2 live scan fingerprint scanners that can be used in both the government and private sectors.
Aratek's optical fingerprint scanners are FBI/STQC certified and well-known for their high image quality, reliability, ease of use, and compact design.
Capacitive fingerprint scanners are another type of fingerprint scanner. Capacitive fingerprint scanners use a sensor array to capture the fingerprint image. The fingerprint image is captured by the scanner using a semiconductor chip. When the finger is placed on the sensor, the ridges and valleys of the fingerprint change the capacitance of the sensor.
The fingerprint image is created by applying a voltage to the sensor plate and measuring the resulting current based on the ridges and valleys in the fingerprint. This process generates electronic signals, which are then processed by a microprocessor to create the fingerprint image. The fingerprint image is then converted into binary code as a fingerprint template and saved in the computer for further processing.
Moisture, temperature, and the quality of the user's finger skin can all have an impact on the capture performance of capacitive fingerprint scanners. For example, if there is a lot of moisture or sweat on the finger being scanned, the ridges of the fingerprint will not be clearly defined. This can cause a blurry image and make matching more difficult.
The Aratek capacitive fingerprint scanners are powered by a dedicated processor and software algorithm for maximum speed and accuracy. Aratek provides a range of slim and compact capacitive fingerprint scanners that are also powerful. They ensure the highest image capturing quality and long life operation, as well as a low power consumption (50 mA) to ensure maximum reliability.
The biometric fingerprint scanner can also be classified based on the captured dimensions, which can be done with the help of the FBI's Mobile ID device certification. The FBI uses this classification to certify fingerprint scanners, ensuring that they meet or exceed minimum FBI interoperability standards and are compatible with the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System.
Fingerprint scanners are classified into different certified product categories in the FBI's Mobile ID device certification, ranging from FAP 10 to FAP 60, based on the fingerprint acquisition profile (FAP) number, which includes the captured dimensions (WxH inches), number of fingerprints captured at a time, and the applied image quality specification. The specifications for each of the categories are as follows:
The optical fingerprint scanner can be compact or large in size, and as a result, optical fingerprint scanners can be certified from FAP 20 to FAP 60. However, capacitive fingerprint scanners can only be certified as FAP 10, due to the high cost of semiconductor chips, surface coatings, and other components.
The fingerprint scanner is probably the most well-known and widely used biometric device.
The fingerprint scanner industry and its applications are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. According to Market Growth Reports, the global Fingerprint Scanner market is expected to be worth $4,404.9m in 2021 and $5,680m by 2028, representing a 13.5% CAGR between 2021 and 2028.
This report also says that the growth of the fingerprint scanner industry has led to police systems, bank systems, and customs systems, which are the three most common uses of fingerprint scanners. And, as the fingerprint scanner industry grows, the most common product types are: single finger scanner (mobile ID FAP 10 to 30) and four finger scanner (mobile ID FAP 50 to 60).
Companies such as Idemia, NEC, Aratek Biometrics, Dermalog, and others are among the world's most prominent manufacturers of fingerprint scanners, wishing for this growth. These key manufacturers have made significant investments in the development and innovation of fingerprint scanners for a wide range of applications.
Biometric fingerprint scanners are being used more and more in places like banks, governments, healthcare, retail, security, and education, which is likely to drive the global fingerprint scanner market over the next few years. Here are some of the most common ways that people use fingerprint scanners:
Banking and financial services are the key sectors where fingerprint scanners are used. Fingerprint scanners are widely used in the banking sector for Know Your Customer (KYC), opening bank accounts, using ATMs, and mobile & online banking, etc.
Fingerprint scanners are used by many governments around the world to identify their citizens and provide services to them. Fingerprint scanners are used by government agencies to issue national ID cards, passports, driver's licenses, and other forms of identification, as well as to verify voters during elections.
Also, as an extra security measure, fingerprint scanners are used to do biometric authentication to make sure that only the right people receive government subsidies and benefits. The Indian government, for example, uses fingerprint data from the Aadhaar program and fingerprint scanners to make sure people are who they say they are before giving them subsidies or other benefits.
Fingerprint scanners are used by police and patrol personnel to access criminal databases and identify suspects. In the United States, for example, fingerprint scanners are a common type of biometric device used in criminal investigations. Fingerprint scanners are used for more than just identifying criminals; they are also utilized to identify prospective terrorists and other threats to national security.
The police in the United Kingdom utilize handheld fingerprint readers to identify suspects, and in the Philippines, fingerprint scanners are used in prisons and other detention institutions to verify the identities of inmates and visitors in order to ensure prison security.
Fingerprint scanners are extensively used in hospitals and clinics for maintaining records of patients and their medical history. In the United States, hospitals and clinics will often use fingerprint biometric to verify that a patient is who they say they are before giving them treatment. For example, if someone is unconscious and can't tell doctors their name or other information about themselves, a doctor can swipe their finger to retrieve their medical records.
Aside from the applications listed above, biometric fingerprint scanners are widely used in the following industries for a variety of purposes:
Fingerprint scanners and fingerprint biometric technology have become widespread in our daily lives. With so many options on the market, it's important to know what kind of product you're buying. When you're thinking about buying a biometric fingerprint scanner, be sure to consider the following:
Do you need to enroll a single or multiple fingers for increased security? Make sure your requirements are met. The number of enrolled fingers you need will depend on the Mobile ID FAP level you select.
Does the fingerprint scanner have image quality certifications from organizations such as the FBI or STQC? This can help ensure the accuracy of each fingerprint scan.
Do you require a heavy-duty device? If so, look for fingerprint scanners with IP ratings at or above IP65.
Is your fingerprint data confidential? If this is the case, see if the fingerprint scanner supports AES-256 encryption.
For a single finger scanner, the capacitive type will be more expensive than the optical type. Most multi-finger scanners are optical types, and a larger sensing area also means a higher price. Make sure you know how many fingers you need to enroll. This will help you decide which scanner will be the most cost-effective.
You can find a fingerprint reader that suits your needs if you give some thought to these factors before making a final decision.
Aratek offers state-of-the-art biometric fingerprint scanners backed by a responsive and helpful support staff. Contact us today to learn more about our fingerprint products and services.
A biometric fingerprint scanner is a device that captures and stores information about an individual's fingerprints. This information can be used to identify the individual and verify their identity. Fingerprint scanners are used in a variety of applications, including banking, government services, time and attendance, and access control.
A fingerprint scanner is a biometric device that uses your unique fingerprints to identify you. When you place your finger on the scanner, the optical or capacitive sensors scans the patterns in your fingerprint matches them to to a database of known authorized fingerprints. If there is a match, then you are allowed to access whatever you were trying to unlock. (a bank account, a computer PC, a subsidy management system, and so on).
There are various benefits to using a fingerprint scanner in any ID-related application.