TECHNOLOGY Fingerprint Technology

Fingerprint recognition is the process of the verification of a person’s identity by comparing their fingerprints with previously recorded samples. Fingerprints are impressions of human fingers, consisting of a series of ridges and grooves. Fingerprints captured in the system are located by minutiae points – points at which scars begin or terminate. These are further mapped with lines between them, creating a minutiae template.

What is fingerprint and fingerprint technology?

Fingerprints are unique patterns of ridges, whorls, and loops found on the fingertips of humans. These patterns, formed during fetal development and unchanged throughout life, serve as distinctive identifiers for individuals. Fingerprint technology utilizes these unique patterns to authenticate and verify identities in various applications. By capturing and analyzing the unique characteristics of an individual’s fingerprint, this technology enables secure access to devices, buildings, and sensitive information. Fingerprint recognition systems employ sophisticated algorithms and sensors to scan and match fingerprints, offering a reliable and convenient method of biometric authentication.

What are the benefits of fingerprint technology?

Fingerprint technology offers a multitude of benefits, making it a preferred choice for biometric authentication. Firstly, its unparalleled accuracy ensures reliable identity verification, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access. Secondly, fingerprint authentication provides convenience for users, eliminating the need to remember complex passwords or carry physical tokens. Additionally, the unique nature of fingerprint patterns enhances security, as each individual possesses distinct biometric characteristics. Furthermore, the speed of fingerprint authentication enables quick access to secured systems or facilities, enhancing operational efficiency. Moreover, fingerprint technology is versatile, with applications ranging from personal devices to corporate security systems, making it adaptable to diverse environments and use cases. Overall, the combination of accuracy, convenience, security, speed, and versatility makes fingerprint technology an invaluable tool for ensuring secure access to digital services and protecting sensitive information.

Fingerprint Illustration

How does fingerprint technology work?

Fingerprint technology, a subset of biometric authentication, relies on the unique patterns and ridges found on an individual’s fingers to verify their identity. The process begins with capturing an image of the fingerprint using specialized scanners, which extract specific features such as ridge endings and bifurcations. These features are then used to create a digital template representing the fingerprint biometric, forming a mathematical model of its unique attributes. When a user attempts authentication, a new fingerprint image is captured and compared to stored biometric templates using pattern-matching algorithms. The system analyzes similarities and differences between the templates to determine authentication, granting access if a close match is found, and denying it otherwise. This method offers high accuracy and security in various applications, including security systems and mobile devices.

Fingerprint Recognition Steps

The process involves several key steps:

  1. Image Capture: The first step is to capture an image of the fingerprint. This is typically done using specialized fingerprint scanners, which may utilize different technologies such as optical, capacitive, or ultrasound.
  2. Feature Extraction: Once the fingerprint image is captured, the system extracts specific features from it. These features include ridge endings, bifurcations, and other unique characteristics of the fingerprint.
  3. Template Creation: The extracted features are then used to create a digital template or representation of the fingerprint. This template is essentially a mathematical model that captures the unique attributes of the fingerprint
  4. Matching Process: When a user attempts to authenticate their identity using their fingerprint, the system captures a new image of the fingerprint. This image is processed to create a new template, which is then compared to the stored templates in the system’s database.
  5. Pattern Matching: The system employs pattern-matching algorithms to compare the new template with the stored templates. It looks for similarities and differences between the two templates to determine whether they match.
  6. Decision: Based on the results of the pattern-matching process, the system decides the authenticity of the fingerprint. If the new template closely matches any of the stored templates, the user is granted access. Otherwise, access is denied.
Fingerprint verification and identification process

How Feature Extractor Works

Innovatrics fingerprint recognition algorithm consists of two main parts: feature extractor and fingerprint matcher.

Feature extractor takes the fingerprint image as a raw image and encodes it in a specific fingerprint template. Innovatrics’ extraction algorithm supports different image formats from various types of sensors. It is also optimized for inked and rolled images (commonly used in criminal applications).

The feature extractor was designed to work well with low quality and partial fingerprint images. Fingerprint image quality can be degraded due to less than optimal conditions during acquisition. The algorithm is able to considerably enhance the overall image quality and to fix possible defects in a way that these will not alter the recognition process. These advanced image enhancement techniques have a significant impact on the overall accuracy of the system.


How Fingerprint Matcher Works

The purpose of the matcher is to compare two fingerprint templates. The matcher doesn’t use the original fingerprint image but rather the resulting templates. It then produces a similarity score which indicates whether two fingerprint templates originate from the same finger or not. 

Verification process – 1:1 Comparison

Fingerprint verification is an identity authentication process used to confirm a claimed identity by comparing a captured template against a previously enrolled 1:1. When the templates match, verification is successful.

Identification – 1:N Search

Innovatrics’ matching algorithm can also perform a high-speed fingerprint identification search. Identification can be regarded as a generalization of verification; the goal of the identification process is to find a person in the database containing multiple identities (1:N search). The database size can be variable – from a few hundreds to tens of millions of templates can be stored in the database depending on the application.

Innovatrics’ fingerprint algorithms are among the best both in verification and identification according to independent NIST benchmark

Fingerprint Technology

Innovatrics’ fingerprint matcher and extractor lead the NIST benchmarks

Minex III

Minex III tests of the US NIST check for interoperability of template generators and matchers from different providers so they can be used for the Personal Identity Verification program of the US government and many other uses where standard fingerprint templates are being used and generated.

Innovatrics matcher remained at 1st position in pooled category and is now number 1 also in native category. Innovatrics template generator is now the fastest in the world in native one finger category and among the top in accuracy in pooled results.

Fingerprint Technology


PFT III tests proprietary fingerprint templates and their performance in one-to-one matching. Unlike standardized templates, the proprietary ones are specific to each vendor and usually optimized for speed, accuracy, or both when used on that vendor’s system.

The performance of all our fingerprint algorithms, from extraction to matching, is consistently among the global elite, even ranking first in several tests.

PFT III NIST Innovatrics

Fingerprint Technology Standards

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the leading international biometric testing organization and industry-standard developer. NIST is actively involved in developing architectures and conformance test tools to support users that need to comply with selected fingerprint biometric standards and support product developers and testing laboratories interested in conforming to biometric standards by using the same testing tools available. NIST conducts technology evaluations of fingerprint matching, identification, and verification systems such as:

  • N2N Fingerprint capture challenge
  • Fingerprint Vendor Technology Evaluation (FpVTE)
  • Slap Fingerprint Segmentation Evaluations (SlapSeg)
  • Proprietary Fingerprint Template Evaluations (PFT)
  • Minutiae Interoperability Exchange (MINEX)
  • Evaluation of Latent Fingerprint Technologies (ELFT)
  • Biometric Quality
Fingerprint Illustration

Typical Use Cases of Fingerprint Technology

Biometric systems are used in a wide range of applications, where accurate identification or verification is needed. Modern use cases of fingerprint technology are:

  • Border control
  • Identity verification in banking and finance
  • Attendance management
  • General elections
  • Civil identification
  • Law enforcement and criminal investigation
Biometric Fingerprint Use case

Awards & Certifications