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Evaluating the Next Generation of Fingerprint Technology

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: Fall 2013 Pages: 11-13
Date Published
October 2013
3 pages

This article reviews the report on the next generation in fingerprint technology that was recently presented by the National Institute of Justice's Sensor, Surveillance, and Biometric Technologies Center of Excellence (SSBT CoE).


The research addressed shows that the majority of currently available commercial contactless scanners are intended to provide secure employee access to facilities. They are not intended to work with automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS). Additional product development and research investment is needed to add the fingerprint technology. One of the main benefits of such a technology would be to capture the fingerprint without anything touching the finger, thus recording it in a natural state. Also, with traditional fingerprint scanners, officers require special training in order to collect accurate prints. In addition, the amount of force an individual applies in pressing the finger on the scanner can change a fingerprint. With contactless technology, there is potential for higher quality images produced at a faster rate of speed with less supervision and training for those administering the scan. Contactless technologies could offer some advantages, but they are not sufficiently mature for widespread use; however, they may be ready for adoption within the next 5 years. Meanwhile, agencies should not pursue this technology at this point, but rather wait for its further development and testing.

Date Published: October 1, 2013