Understanding Biometrics

How Biometrics Fingerprinting Works

Fingerprint identification is based on the anatomical truth that no two fingerprints are identical. Each person’s fingerprint has unique prominent features called arches, loops and whorls. These characteristic fingerprint curves are the most common types of fingerprint patterns. Though these fingerprint characteristics are distinct, without the aid of scanners, cable of reading detailed features, identification would be problematic. For example, if the sample print impression is smudged, dirty or distorted proper identification of the print’s pattern may be compromised. In this case, making an accurate assessment based on fingerprint identification is unreliable.

Today, with the introduction of sophisticated biometric scanners, verification of anyone’s fingerprint can be done accurately by looking at minutiae details and variations within the larger characteristics of a print’s arches, loops and whorls. When a fingerprint is scanned using a biometric device, the sample data is interpreted as various shades of gray patterns. Each gray pixel is designated a specific numerical value. The gray-scale pattern created is processed by a complex biometric security program. A mathematical algorithm examines places of light and dark points of the fingerprint sample data acquired. This analysis will determine whether the fingerprint ridges are divided or ended. The biometric program is designed to analyze theses minute ridge splits and endings, ascertaining their positions relative to the core of the print as compared to another.


In addition, the system also analyzes and compares the angle of ridges of sample print data. These anatomically specific relationships imaged will remain unaltered even if the fingerprint data is smudged, dirty or even distorted. Thus, a biometric system can accurately determine the identification of one fingerprint as compared to another fingerprint.

For secure identification several original fingerprint scans are taken and manipulated by a biometric algorithm to create a template of the print which is stored on the biometric device. The duplication process allows the algorithm to collect and compare fingerprint data acquired. This is done to ensure 100% authenticity of the template to being stored.

Once the template has been successfully created, an authorized user wishing to gain access to a secure area or device merely enters their security code or password to call up the fingerprint data template stored. The user’s fingerprint is scanned and compared to biometric fingerprint template for identity verification.

Biometric secure door locks usually require both a password code and fingerprint scan before allowing access as a failsafe protocol. However, secure biometric USB flash disk allow a user access by confirming their fingerprint via a scanning process or by entering the correct password.

During fingerprint verification phase the user allows their print to be scanned by the biometric device. If the match is close enough to stored data template, access will be granted. If not, another scan will be necessary until the scan matches secure data template created originally by biometric algorithm.

Biometric secure devices cannot be circumvented because anatomically no two people have identical fingerprints. Secure biometric systems use a complex mathematical algorithm to determine if the print scanned matches the fingerprint template data stored. Once verification is confirmed the user is allowed access. The analysis and scanning process takes into consideration minute details of a fingerprint’s ridges and ends. Therefore, the fingerprint scanned must match exactly the fingerprint data which is stored on the biometric device.

Published on EnzineArticles.com


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