What Is Fingerprint Recognition And How It Works Fingerprint recognition systems work by examining a finger pressed against a smooth surface. The finger's ridges and valleys are scanned, and a series of distinct points, where ridges and valleys end or meet, are called minutiae. These minutiae are the points the fingerprint recognition system uses for comparison. A brief history While the earliest accounts of biometrics can be dated as far back as 500BC in Babylonian empire, the first record of a biometric identification system was in 1800s, Paris, France. Alphonse Bertillon developed a method of specific body measurements for the classification and comparison of criminals that were to be detained or released on bail. His work led to his invention of anthropometry which is defined as the science that deals with identifying physical traits or characteristics of humans (Webster). In 1883, he created an anthropometry laboratory where he could measure thousands of prisoners each day. He soon realized that this system could also be used to identify people under different conditions such as at night time or when only their hands were visible from behind a barrier. Installation and setup Before you can start using fingerprint recognition, you need to install a fingerprint scanner. This is a device that captures an image of your fingerprint and stores it in a database. Once the scanner is installed, you'll need to create a profile for each person who will be using it. To do this, you'll need to scan their fingerprints and input some basic information about them. Once you have a few profiles set up, you can start using the fingerprint recognition system. When someone wants to access a secure area, they place their finger on the scanner. The system then takes an image of their fingerprint and compares it with one stored in its database. If there's a match, they're allowed through! Advantages and disadvantages There are many advantages to using fingerprint biometrics. For one, it is a very accurate way to identify individuals. fingerprints are unique to each person and do not change over time, making them much more reliable than other methods, such as facial recognition. Additionally, fingerprint biometrics are relatively easy to use and can be used in a variety of settings, from airports to office buildings. However, there are some disadvantages to using fingerprint biometrics as well. Types of fingerprint sensors There are two main types of fingerprint sensors: optical and capacitive. Optical fingerprint sensors use light to take an image of your fingerprint, while capacitive fingerprint sensors use electrical current. Each type of sensor has its own advantages and disadvantages. Where you can use it Fingerprint recognition can be used in a variety of ways, from unlocking your smartphone to accessing your computer. This technology is also used by law enforcement to identify criminals. For example, in November 2018, The US Secret Service detained Travis Reinking for trespassing and possessing firearms at the White House's South Lawn. Fingerprints are typically taken when individuals are arrested or suspected of committing a crime so that they can be positively identified if needed later on during trial proceedings. Finger Print recognition is also ideal for Access Control, managagin staff, Access to security complexs and so much more. The future of fingerprint security There exist four main types of fingerprint reader hardware: Optical readers are the most common type of fingerprint readers. The type of sensor in an optical reader is a digital camera that acquires a visual image of the fingerprint. Advantages are that optical readers start at very cheap prices. Disadvantages are that readings are impacted by dirty or marked fingers, and this type of fingerprint reader is easier to fool than others. Capacitive readers, also referred to as CMOS readers, do not read the fingerprint using light. Instead a CMOS reader uses capacitors and thus electrical current to form an image of the fingerprint. CMOS readers are more expensive than optical readers. An important advantage of capacitive readers over optical readers is that a capacitive reader requires a real fingerprint shape rather than only a visual image. This makes CMOS readers harder to trick. Ultrasound readers are the most recent type of fingerprint readers, they use high frequency sound waves to penetrate the epidermal (outer) layer of the skin. They read the fingerprint on the dermal skin layer, which eliminates the need for a clean, unscarred surface. All other types of fingerprint readers acquire an image of the outer surface, thus requiring hands to be cleaned and free of scars before read-out. This type of fingerprint reader is far more expensive than the first two, however due to their accuracy and the fact that they are difficult to fool the ultrasound readers are already very popular. Thermal readers sense, on a contact surface, the difference of temperature in between fingerprint ridges and valleys. Thermal fingerprint readers have a number of disadvantages such as higher power consumption and a performance that depends on the environment temperature.