Faster and Better Fingerprinting: The Fast Capture Initiative

Through the Fast Capture Initiative, NIJ-funded scientists and engineers are creating new tools and techniques that will capture the same images as 10 rolled fingerprints in less than 15 seconds and both palm prints in less than 1 minute. The initiative's goals are also improved fingerprint image quality and the near-term commercialization of affordable products for law enforcement agencies.

NIJ collaborates with several agencies on this initiative: the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Justice Management Division.

Fast Capture Technologies

Three unique technological approaches are being used to find a fast capture fingerprinting technology:

  • One approach constructs a 3-dimensional visual model of the entire hand using up to 10 micro-cameras positioned at different angles to image the hand (Carnegie Mellon University, “Handshot ID: A Fast 3-D Imaging System for Capturing Fingerprints, Palm Prints, and Hand Geometry,” grant number 2005–IJ–CX–K060).
  • Another approach uses a three-camera system that captures prints as it scans under the fingers. The system captures detailed finger ridge and valley characteristics using novel image-processing algorithms (TBS North American, Inc., “Fast Capture Technology to Capture Up to 10 Roll-Equivalent Fingerprints Within 15 Seconds,” grant number 2005–IJ–CX–K071).
  • A third approach uses a two-dimensional silicon contact sensor array on a polymer plastic foil to capture the equivalent of a rolled fingerprint. The polymer conforms to the shape of the finger on contact (Smiths Detection, Inc., “Fast Capture Fingerprint and Palm Print Technology,” grant number 2005–IJ–CX–K067).
Date Created: November 13, 2007