The Size Of The Fingerprint Biometric Sensor: Why Bigger Is Better

Article features research by Nasir Memon, professor in the department of Computer Science and Engineering at NYU Tandon.
… Whilst there is no denying the fingerprint biometric smart card is reaching its inflection point, one barrier to mass market adoption is the cost of the sensors needed to take each person’s biometric fingerprint data. To combat this, many producers of these sensors have looked to limit costs by reducing the size of the sensors used. … the smaller the sensor the more times an enrollee needs to touch the sensor in order to capture an image of the whole surface of the finger. Some manufacturers are getting around this problem by partially enrolling the fingerprint, by adding a fragment of the fingerprint and then adding to data to the template, once the card is in use. According to a new study from New York University Tandon School of Engineering, ‘partial’ fingerprints are less likely to be unique than full prints, making smaller fingerprint-based security systems less secure and more vulnerable than previously thought.