How Does A Fingerprint Biometric Scanner Work?
A biometric scanner is used by several technologies, today, including our mobile phones to increase security measures. Before we learn how a biometric scanner works, let’s begin with what it is.
So What is a Biometric Scanner?
Biometric scanners are devices used for identifying and authenticating individuals based on their unique biological features. These biometric scanners are generally used for security purposes. The biometric authentication process uses the characteristics of a human being the identifying trait. The biometric authentication process could use fingerprints, iris, face, or voice recognition as the key identifying characteristic.
The most commonly used biometric is the biometric fingerprint scanner.
So how does a biometric fingerprint scanner work?
Biometric fingerprint scanner for mobile is one of the latest and the most common use of fingerprint biometric. The biometric devices for mobile consist of two steps.
The following are the two steps involved in biometric fingerprint scanner for mobile:
Step 1: Minutiae Extraction:
- This is the first step in the whole process of biometric identification and authentication. This step is very important and should be done carefully to setup the recognition system properly. This step is also called the fingerprint template formation.
- An optical sensor is used to extract the fingerprint from the source. This sensor saves a monochrome image of the fingerprint. It is formed in an eight-bit grayscale image. The 8-bit grayscale is converted into 0s and 1s based on the nearby pixels. This is done by using an algorithm.
- After getting the grayscale image of the original fingerprint, the fir filter will convert the image into a single thin line. This will make the image sharper. After that Gabor filter is used to form four times or blocks of pixels. Then the valleys, ridges, and bifurcations are marked on the image. Almost 1520 bifurcations are marked on the image.
- The final image that is formed in this process is the required fingerprint template. It is an array of minutiae of 240 x 320 pixels.
Step 2: Fingerprint Matching Algorithm:
There are two types of matching algorithms in designing biometric devices for mobile. These algorithms are 1: 1 and 1: N algorithms. The 1: 1 algorithm is usually used in workplaces where the employees have access to a card. This system is used to mark the attendance of employees as well as for scanning their identification for entry into restricted areas.
When the employee shows his card, usually an identification card with a number on it, the biometric scanner will scan the number on the card. It will then look into its database where the identification numbers of all the employees in the company are stored.
The scanner then pulls up the relevant fingerprint template from its database. This fingerprint template is matched with the extracted fingerprint.
In the 1: N fingerprint matching process, the extracted fingerprint is matched the fingerprint template in the database. This complete process is done by a dedicated Digital Signal Processing (DSP) system. The Digital Signal Processing System does the work at 400 megahertz and the whole process is completed within mere seconds.
This is how the fingerprint locking security system in mobile phones works too. The scanner is constructed within the device, usually the home button on your mobile phone. When you place your finger there, the scanner will read your fingerprint and match it with the fingerprint template that is stored in its database. Only if the fingerprints match the mobile phone unlocks or it just stays locked.
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