How Fingerprint Scanners Work

You may have come across many fingerprint scanners in the James Bond’s and Mission Impossible movies, and must be always be thrilled to know the working of such a secure system. These scanners are called Fingerprint scanners and are the most advanced biometric security devices available. They have become so compact that they have been involved in to the latest laptops also.

They are important now days in terms of securing your data on your laptops, as the person with the wrong fingerprint would not be able to access your data. The days of bulky fingerprint scanners are gone as the devices have become as small as matchboxes. With the reduced the security has only gone is, with increased use of biometrics to read a fingerprint.

This is how a fingerprint scanner works:

• Firstly on the first usage or the first attempt to create an identity, the scanner asks for your fingerprint. Here it asks you to roll your thumb over the scanner, and then it converts your fingerprint into a set of mathematical representations of characteristics of your fingerprint called minutiae. At more secure places, such as government headquarters full hand scans may be taken. Then along with the minutiae, an image is also stored in 500 dpi. The image is just as a back up in cases the security fails to match the minutiae via the computer.

• This way the process of registration or enrollment is complete. Then when you require access, the scanner asks for your thumb again. This time you move your thumb on the scanner, close to the scanner not to hard but firmly. If the scanner is unable to read it, rub three or four times. Then the computer starts a scan into its system to check the matching fingerprint. The computer tries and matches the mathematical representation called minutiae taken earlier. After the process is done, an additional scan for the photo of the person may be done to ensure full security. If the all the results come out positive the person is provided access to the system or the building.

• This can not only be used for security but with additional database management system one can even check in and checkout times, payrolls, attendances. Getting in to the details of scanning, one sees that the application on the scanner creates extensive algorithms from a person’s finger print. After the scan is done, the application tries and matches the relative positions of the minutiae. It is similar to as we try and observe different stars every night and recognize the patterns of the constellations. The sensor of the scanner is made up of tiny cells each containing two conductor plates. Then the sensor plate is connected to an integrator which is just an inverting oscillating amplifier electric circuit. The circuit is a capacitance circuit and the finger tip as the circuit completing capacitor when it is placed. When the circuit an image is recorded in a flash and sent to the application.

With increased security, finger print scanners have become every thieves and hackers night mare to get vital access.

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