Contactless fingerprinting allows high scalability leveraging the existing infrastructure such as smartphones with internet connection that we all carry. Adoption and thus further development of such technologies only accelerated during the pandemic. The heat was generated by a series of advances in fingerprint image acquisition using conducive mobile phone camera systems, image processing techniques resulting in high accuracy matching performance with legacy fingerprints and systems, widespread adoption, and recognition from standards bodies.
When we talk about contactless fingerprinting, we mean the acquisition and/or verification of fingerprints without placing the fingers on the type of device we’ve all become used to, for example at border control. Until recently, for a number of reasons, placing your finger(s) on such a reader was the only way of properly acquiring or verifying a fingerprint.
The potential for contactless fingerprint capture technology, particularly through mobile phones, includes a complete reconfiguration of the dominant national ID registration and verification model. This reconfiguration would involve the gradual replacement of a whole generation of dedicated acquisition devices for contact-based fingerprint biometrics. Their replacement would require only software and mobile phones, and the same smartphones will also serve as a face capture devices.