Fingerprint-based biometric security systems are everywhere now, but there are some well-known problems with using your fingerprints instead of a password. First off, you unconsciously leave copies of your fingerprints just about everywhere you go. Still, fingerprint sensors seem to be getting better and better. I’ll stick to my 4-digit PIN for now, though, thanks, but if you like using your finger for your digital locks, check out these links.
- Qualcomm has an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that captures three dimensional characteristics of a user’s fingerprint by penetrating the outer layers of skin with sound. This sensor can more accurately detect fingerprint features when fingers are wet or slathered in hand lotion, but it might not be able to identify you correctly if you get a papercut or cracked, dry skin? [url]
- Vkansee has a high-resolution optical fingerprint sensor that claims to be able to detect the sweat pores of your fingertip. This sensor isn’t available on any commercial smartphones, but presumably better biometric sensors are going to be embedded in more and more devices. Yay? [url]
- There are plenty of concerns about how accurate fingerprint identifications systems are — with issues such as false positives and false rejection rates. One of the key aspects, though, is that fingerprints are not secret and not revocable. Some systems try to detect “liveness” to make sure a fingerprint is attached to a (hopefully healthy and not under duress) living person, and there are a few other approaches to guard against spoofing, but fingerprints aren’t a perfect biometric. (And no perfect biometric system exists….) [url]
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