electro-optical fingerprint recognition

Electro-optical fingerprint recognition is a biometric technology that provides for the scanning, comparison, and identification of fingerprints without the traditional need for ink and paper. An optical scanning and recognition system is used in conjunction with a matching system to enable efficient authentication for secure spaces and devices. Like other fingerscanning technologies, electro-optical fingerprint recognition makes it possible to quickly and accurately compare a given fingerprint image to thousands of stored images.

Electro-optical fingerprint scanners are generally designed to be portable, easy to use, and physically rugged. The devices are becoming more widely used as an alternative to passwords for consumer electronics or as part of a two-factor authentication system where more stringent security is required.

Here's how it works: The fingerprint is optically scanned directly from the finger and the resulting image is focused onto a small chip. The chip converts the focused image into a digital file that can be processed, stored, and compared with other fingerprint images. The high-resolution digital images can be processed like any other scanned image, eliminating problems caused by aliasing (also called jaggies) and making it possible to quickly compare a fingerprint image with other fingerprint images in a large database.

This was last updated in September 2005

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