Fingerprint recognition is a form of biometric identification that uses the pattern of friction ridges on a human finger. It is used to identify people and allow them to do things such as unlock a door or start a machine. It is one of the most popular forms of biometric identification and has been around for over a decade.
A fingerprint is an impression made by the peaks and valleys of the friction ridges on your fingers or toes. These are unique to each person and remain unchanged throughout life. They can also be found on other parts of the body, such as a toe print, but are most often collected from the palms of your hands and feet.
The ridge configuration of a fingerprint is unchanging over time, making it an excellent biometric for identifying a person. Fingerprints are a great security feature because they cannot be stolen or faked. They are also a convenient way to verify identity and can be recorded with minimal effort by a user, which makes them easier for the user to use than other methods of identification such as keys or passwords.
In most applications, fingerprint recognition is combined with a system that can verify a person’s identity and perform the required action, such as opening a lock or allowing software to work. Fingerprint scanners are available in many different types of devices, including desktop computer systems, mobile phones, and cars. They can be either contact or contactless. Contactless scanners can use light or sound to detect fingerprints and can be installed without the need for a contact surface, such as a touchscreen.
When a fingerprint is captured, the scanner converts it into a digital model and compares this to a stored one. A fingerprint can be scanned by an optical sensor that uses visible light, or by using a capacitive, ultrasound, or thermal scanner that captures the differences in heat between the ridges and valleys of a fingerprint. In most cases, the image of a fingerprint is converted into a numerical model to compare with a template for recognition.
Although fingerprint recognition technology has become very popular in the past decade, it is important to understand that it has a variety of weaknesses that can be exploited to bypass the system. For example, some researchers have discovered that the fingerprint sensor can be spoofed by creating an artificial replica of the original fingerprint with wax, moldable plastic such as Play-Doh or clay, or gelatin. Instructions to do so can be easily found on the Internet, making this a significant threat to the technology.