SPIE Membership Get updates from SPIE Newsroom
  • Newsroom Home
  • Astronomy
  • Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging
  • Defense & Security
  • Electronic Imaging & Signal Processing
  • Illumination & Displays
  • Lasers & Sources
  • Micro/Nano Lithography
  • Nanotechnology
  • Optical Design & Engineering
  • Optoelectronics & Communications
  • Remote Sensing
  • Sensing & Measurement
  • Solar & Alternative Energy
  • Sign up for Newsroom E-Alerts
  • Information for:
    Advertisers
SPIE Photonics West 2018 | Call for Papers

SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2018 | Call for Papers

SPIE Journals OPEN ACCESS

SPIE PRESS

SPIE PRESS

Print PageEmail Page

Sensing & Measurement

Patent news: Fingerprint recognition still easiest and cheapest way to protect against identity theft

This month's featured patent review by analysts from Nerac.
10 August 2006, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.200608.0002
Fingerprint recognition is still considered one of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect against identity theft and a market area that is continuing to develop. One of the major drawbacks in fingerprint recognition is having a system that can distinguish between a person Vs a latent copy. Recent patent no. 6,995,384 offers an optical solution through backlighting rather than incident light alone. A course summary of the invention is to compare two images, one with backlight and one without, and through a gray scale analysis of peaks and valleys of the print, determine if the print is from a latent or biomass. If accepted, it is then compared to a fingerprint image on file.
This appears to be a faster system then some of the thermal sensing devices offered earlier. Of course, for every solution offered there will be someone who will try to find an exception to it. See the patent abstract below:
pdf_icon.gif Download the Full Patent
2006-02-07 06995384
Method and apparatus for discriminating latent fingerprint in optical fingerprint input apparatus
INVENTOR- Lee, Hwi-Seok; Jung, Soon-Won; Jun, Jae-Hyun
PATENT NUMBER- 06995384
PATENT APPLICATION NUMBER- 067818
DATE FILED-2005-02-28
PATENT DATE- 2006-02-07
A method and an apparatus for distinguishing a latent fingerprint is provided to prevent a fingerprint recognition apparatus from mis-recognizing a latent fingerprint as a fingerprint of a biomass due to a fingerprint residual on an imaging surface of an optical fingerprint input apparatus. According to the present invention, there is provided a backlight control device for controlling switching on and off of the backlight; an image acquisition device for acquiring a fingerprint image without illuminating the backlight onto the imaging surface; a fingerprint detection device for detecting the existence of a fingerprint from the image acquired by the image acquisition device; and a device for determining that the fingerprint, if detected by the fingerprint detection device, is a latent fingerprint detected due to an external light.
EXEMPLARY CLAIMS- 1. A method of discriminating a latent fingerprint residual on an imaging surface of an optical fingerprint input apparatus, which acquires a fingerprint image by a backlight illuminated onto a fingerprint and reflected therefrom, the method comprising the steps of:; acquiring an image by illuminating the backlight onto the imaging surface; detecting an existence of a fingerprint from the acquired image; acquiring an image while the backlight is in the off state, if a fingerprint has been detected; detecting the existence of a fingerprint from the acquired image; and; determining that the fingerprint, if detected, is a latent fingerprint detected due to an external light.
Jerry Burke is a Nerac Patent Analyst. Nerac's Intellectual Property Solutions provide a practical understanding of the IP landscape, helping organizations to make informed decisions about R&D planning and business strategy development. Nerac analysts work with clients in the following critical areas:
  • Patentability and Invalidity
  • Patent Portfolio Analysis
  • Commercialization Strategy
  • White Space Analysis