The University of Kentucky Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments

Vis Center Researchers Develop Noncontact, Depth-detailed 3D Fingerprinting

A combination of structured light illumination and a suitable algorithm offers a solution to problems of precision associated with conventional print capture. Fingerprint recognition has been used extensively to identify people for law enforcement and security applications. The technique has the advantage of uniqueness, employs compact and inexpensive sensors, and delivers rapid matching. However, traditional fingerprint acquisition is performed in 2D using contact methods that introduce uncontrollable and nonuniform distortion when pressing or rolling a human finger onto a rigid surface. Consequently, applications that require high-precision fingerprints are limited.

To circumvent these problems, our research group, in partnership with Flashscan3D LLC, is investigating a noncontact 3D fingerprint scanner. This system relies on 3D image acquisition using structured light illumination (SLI), which recovers the necessary information by performing so-called triangulation between a projector and camera pair using a series of time-multiplexed, striped light patterns. No physical contact is made with the fingerprint. Read more about this new system for 3D fingerprinting.

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