The results of Phase 2 of the Mobile Fingerprinting Innovation Technology (mFIT) challenge organized by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been partially revealed, and experts say the evaluation shows that biometrics of Contactless Fingerprint is now ready for practical deployments.
The Phase 1 winners, announced in June 2021, were BlueBible Team, ENGR Dynamics, Idemia, Identy, Slapshot SDK Team (which includes Integrated Biometrics and Scientometrics), and Telos ID. Each received $85,000 in prize money. Two additional teams also participated in Phase 2, Tech5 and a team including T3K.
First place overall in Phase 2 of the mFIT Challenge is tied between Idemia and Telos, who also tied for the “First Responder Choice Award”. The Slapshot SDK team is tied with Identy and ‘T3K & Teeltech’ for third place. The Slapshot team’s technology provided a corresponding accuracy rate of 95% or better in the Phase 2 evaluation, which is ahead of the challenge, however, said the executive vice president of Integrated Biometrics. , Tom Buss. Biometric update in an interview.
The challenge is organized in collaboration with the FirstNet telecommunications network for first responders and aims to establish the effectiveness of technologies for contactless mobile fingerprint capture, transmission on FirstNet and matching with legacy databases filled with reference patterns collected on contact-based biometric scanners.
This will allow police to identify persons of interest without transporting them to a station first, saving time and money for the force, while making the process less time consuming and less convenient for the subject. Identifying a suspect early could also have significant benefits for public or officer safety.
Buss explains that NIST took a database of 2 million reference patterns and added biometrics from fingerprints of 100 volunteers collected on contact-based scanners to match the ABIS.
The Colorado-based NIST division works with the Federal Communications Commission and organized the mFIT Challenge to encourage the development of technological innovations to support public safety workers, such as police and other first responders. The industry was challenged to come up with a method of collecting slap (four-finger) fingerprints with a smartphone camera that would yield processable images, Buss says.
“You would like to have some kind of tool that is not difficult to carry or separate equipment that you have to plug in.”
NIST measured input matching accuracy, but also “a bunch of other metrics related to usability, look and feel,” Buss says. While these items are important to overall performance, they didn’t carry as much weight and IB focused on biometric matching results, Buss said, as applications will be developed and fine-tuned by systems integrators for production deployments.
Integrators of mobile applications to capture contactless fingerprints are the same group that already serves the law enforcement community with biometric technologies used in police stations, according to Buss.
The Slapshot Team Approach
The Slapshot SDK captures images at less than 2% of the 500 pixels per inch of the legacy database models.
“If the images presented at ABIS are not close to 500 ppi resolution, the accuracy drops off quite quickly,” Buss notes.
Sciometrics software included in the SDK controls the precision of the resolution at which all fingers are captured, with a high level of focus provided by a series of images, with the optimal image for each finger selected to create the model probe.
CEO Shawn O’Rourke says IB has a patent portfolio for contactless technology that is just as robust as its contact-based IP portfolio.
Meanwhile, standards are being created for contactless fingerprint capture and will be partly informed by mFIT results.
Sciometrics President Mark Walch describes the results of the mFIT challenge as showing that contactless fingerprint collection is “ready for prime time,” which he hopes will spur NIST action to support. creating these standards.
Buss says IB plans to leverage its leadership in the contactless ID space to meet demand for identity verification with a future software release. This will involve different considerations, such as the quality of the phone cameras involved vary more widely.
“We’re going to conquer this contactless market just as we conquered the contact market for fingerprints,” said Dave Gerulski, IB’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.
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