Scientists at Michigan State University have created the first model of a three-dimensional human fingerprint. The researches state that this system is able to improve fingerprint-matching technologies and its security systems. The technique works by taking a 2D image of a fingerprint and turning it into a 3D object.
The team, led by Anil Jain from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), has used a 3D printer to create a 3D finger surface including all the ridges and valleys that make up the human fingerprint. The team describes the fingerprint as “phantom”, a technique also used to ensure an MRI or CT scanner is working properly. “In health care, a 3D heart or kidney can be created,” Jain says. “Because the dimensions are known, they can be put into a scanner and the imaging system can be calibrated.”
It’s the team’s goal to create a precise model of the fingerprint with known properties and features that can be used to calibrate existing technology used to match fingerprints. “When I have this 3D fingerprint phantom, I know its precise measurements,” says Jain. “And because I know the true dimensions of the fingerprint features on this phantom, I can better evaluate fingerprint readers.” He adds” “Tools like this would help improve the overall accuracy of fingerprint-matching systems, which eventually leads to better security in applications ranging from law enforcement to mobile phone unlock.”
Image credits: MSU.