Get a Sense of Biometric Fingerprint Sensors

They’re on our phones, our computers, our homes, and in our cars. Despite their growing prevalence in today’s tech-savvy generation, they still have an air of mystery to them – and it’s not intentional.

Since biometric devices rely heavily on the high calibre of precision and understanding that goes into creating a fingerprint sensor, find out more about how sensors work, and why it matters.

The Basics

Fingerprint sensors have two functions. The first is to take an image of a fingerprint and convert it into a template using a unique algorithm. The second is to match that template to a recorded template in a database. Two of the more common technologies to achieve this is: optical scanning or capacitance scanning.

Optical sensors use LED light and a camera to generate images. When you place your finger on the glass plate, the LED light flashes and the internal camera takes an image of the valleys and ridges of your finger. Capacitive sensors essentially do the same thing, but instead of sensing a fingerprint using light they use an electric current.

Both sensors have their advantages depending on their uses which we will explain in this article.

Invixium, for example, use three different sensors: SecuGen’s optical sensor, NEXT Biometrics’ capacitance sensor, and Lumidigm’s rugged multispectral optical sensor. Each will be covered in detail within their respective section.

Find out more about the different Invixium sensors below.

Sensor Interoperability

Sensor interoperability is the ability of sensors to communicate with each other and exchange and make use of information when installed on the same network.

Sensor interoperability will inevitably make installers’ lives easier and save system integrators infinite hours of precious time.

SecuGen Optical Sensor

The SecuGen sensor, by Invixium, uses optical scanning to capture fingerprints. It produces high quality images for greater precision and less false rejections and acceptances. The sensor is resistant to scratches, corrosion, and other stresses which can be wiped clean without fear of damage.

NEXT Biometrics Thermal Sensor

The NEXT Biometrics sensor is a capacitance scanner which uses an electric current to collect data and create an image. Thanks to this, it’s tolerant against dirt, grease, and other varying environmental conditions. This particular sensor was used specifically for the MERGE because it’s razor slim design and reliable performance allowed for placement flush to the surface of the device without the need for a cavity.

Optical sensors require a cavity in the body of the device in order to block any ambient light from entering the sensing area. Just like how a camera lens gets obstructed when taking a picture near a bright light source, the same applies to optical sensors. This makes a cavity a necessity when designing an optical biometric fingerprint scanner.

With a capacitance sensor, a cavity is not required since they use electrical currents to generate images. This allowed for the design of the MERGE to stay sleek and slender without having to worry about incorporating a cavity into the device.

Lumidigm Multispectral Sensor

The Lumidigm sensor is a multispectral optical sensor for outdoor environments, especially where users will come across harsh and dirty environmental conditions. The Lumidigm sensor differs from the SecuGen sensor because of what the camera captures an image of.

Rather than capturing an image of the surface of the finger, the Lumidigm sensor uses multispectral imaging to read the fingerprints deep into the subsurface of the epidermis beyond the surface layer of the skin. Thanks to this technology, dirt, water, cuts, and problematic fingers will not stand in the way of users being able to authenticate, hence it’s an ideal option for harsh environments.

The Lumidigm sensor is recommended for outdoor uses such as outdoor gates, factories, refineries, and other industrial complexes.

As biometrics become a necessity for security enhancements and personal identification, their role in our day-to-day lives will continue to evolve in ways that shape them into more of a requirement, rather than a luxury.

For more information on the Invixium line of sensors and other products visit: invixium.com