This post was edited by Deleep at 12:54, Apr-18-2016 |
Today i would like to share some information about "How a Fingerprint scanner works?". Initially it was my curiosity to know how it works and this was struck during the launch event of Redmi note 3 In delhi. During the launch presentation Hugo Barra was sharing the features of Finger print scanner and the interesting features of it. He was unlocking the phone with a simple touch, able to take a selfie with it, and even able to lock and unlock his personal apps and folders. Redmi note 3 is first among the Mi phones to have Finger print scanner incorporated in it and trust me it is an awesome device. Lets go further and see what it is and how it works.
What is a Finger Print scanner?
It is a type of biometric security technology that utilizes the combination of hardware and software techniques to identify the fingerprint scans of an individual. It identifies and authenticates the fingerprints of an individual in order to grant or deny access to a Smartphone, computer system or a physical facility.Though there are many other ways to secure personal information like biometrics, iris scans, retinal scans, face scans etc finger print scanners are easy and simple to use when compared to other biometric scanner.
As Technology upgraded, Finger print scanners have also upgraded timely and here are the types that were used earlier and the one we are using now.Basically, these are categorised into three types.
1) Optical scanners
2) Capacitive scanners
3) Ultrasonic scanners
Lets see in depth how these scanners Work and their principle of operation.
-> Optical scanners
Optical fingerprint scanners are the oldest method of capturing and comparing fingerprints. As the name suggests, this technique relies on capturing an optical image, essentially a photograph, and using algorithms to detect unique patterns on the surface, such as ridges or unique marks, by analysing the lightest and darkest areas of the image.
-> Capacitive scanners
The most commonly found type of fingerprint scanner used today is the capacitive scanner. As the name gives indicates, capacitor is the main source for scanning in capacitive scanners.Instead of creating a traditional image of a fingerprint, capacitive fingerprint scanners use arrays tiny capacitor circuits to collect data about a fingerprint. As capacitors can store electrical charge, connecting them up to conductive plates on the surface of the scanner allows them to be used to track the details of a fingerprint. The charge stored in the capacitor will be changed slightly when a finger’s ridge is placed over the conductive plates, while an air gap will leave the charge at the capacitor relatively unchanged. An op-amp integrator circuit is used to track these changes, which can then be recorded by an analogue-to-digital converter.
-> Ultrasonic scanners
The latest fingerprint scanning technology to enter the smartphone space is an ultrasonic sensor, which was first announced to be inside the Le Max Pro smartphone. Qualcomm and its Sense ID technology are also a major part of the design in this particular phone.
-> The above are the Hardware upgrades that existed in the evolution of finger print scanners and now coming to the software section, the signals or the data received by the scanners is converted to algorithms and an unique code are created by software for each and every unique finger print pattern that is beaing scanned and saved. lets see in depth how this software achitecture works.
Algorithms and cryptography
While most fingerprint scanners are based on very similar hardware principles, additional components and software can also play a major part in differentiating how products perform and what features are available to consumers.Accompanying the physical scanner is a dedicated IC that deals with interpreting the scanned data and transmitting this in a useful form to your smartphone’s main processor. Different manufacturers use slightly different algorithms to identify key fingerprint characteristics, which can vary in speed and accuracy.
Fingerprint scanners have become quite a secure alternative to remembering countless user-names and passwords, and the further roll out of secure mobile payment systems means that these scanners are likely to become a more common and crucial security tool in the future.
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