Technology

Secure
  • FBI-certified, highest quality image
  • Spoof-resistant
  • Exceeds FAR/FRR (false acceptance or rejects) industry standards
  • One-to-many (millions) matching capability in smallest form factor
Mobile
  • Thinnest, lightest weight, FBI-certified sensor
  • Lowest power consumption in the certified market
Durable
  • Environmentally rugged even at extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Readings are impervious to dirt, oils, moisture on the film or fingers
  • Not affected by bright light or direct sunlight
  • Solid state, no breakable glass components
Easy-to-use
  • Excellent dry finger performance – reducing multi-read frustration
  • Not affected by latent prints, dirt or oils
  • No cleaning of the platen between uses
  • Adaptive algorithm enrolls more people on first pass
  • Eliminates re-enrollment from poor images
  • No fogging or halo effect
  • No membranes to replace

Integrated Biometrics develops and manufactures FBI-certified fingerprint biometric scanners that utilize durable, patented light emitting sensor (LES) film. This unique, patented technology enables our world-class fingerprint solutions to work in direct sunlight on dry or moist fingers and resist abrasion.

 

Technology

LES technology is the only biometric technology that can meet the stringent image performance requirements of the FBI in a “thin” form factor (less than 1 mm thick). Whether integrating with smartphones, tablets, or other mobile solutions, LES fuels the smallest and lightest forensic quality roll scanners available in the market today, 90-95% smaller and lighter than traditional optical scanners.

(capturing difficult fingerprints) …the most important groups are manual laborers—whose fingerprints tend to wear off from excessive use of their hands—and children, whose fingerprints are not fully developed or undergo changes with development; as well as the disabled or amputees. These challenging cases require adopting exception‐handling protocols (which may be relevant for 1 to 2 percent of the population) in order to ensure total inclusion. Exception handling for biometric capture may include the use of: newer fingerprint scanners based on thin film imaging devices (e.g., light emitting sensors) instead of traditional optical sensors.

–World Bank

Please feel free to access more details about our LES film via the FAQ below.

If you have technical or other questions about LES film or any of our biometric fingerprint solutions, please call +1 888 840-8034 or email info@integratedbiometrics.com.

To download standards and compliance information click here >>IB Standards and Compliance

Technology FAQs

What is Light Emitting Sensor (LES) Film?

Integrated Biometrics’ Light Emitting Sensor (LES) film is a revolutionary technology that generates a detailed fingerprint image superior to traditional optical biometric scanning technologies.

The patented LES film is a multilayer, polymer composite containing particles that luminesce (give off light) in the presence of an electrical field.

faq-LES

When a finger is placed on the film, the skin of the ridges of the fingerprint completes the low level electric circuit which causes the particles in the film to luminesce or emit light, producing a highly accurate, high resolution analog image of the fingerprint. The resolution of the fingerprint image from the film is 1500 PPI.

The high-resolution (1500 PPI), image is captured using a variety of technologies. The image is captured creating an Appendix F, FBI-quality image for flat or rolled fingerprints.

How does Integrated Biometrics build the Light Emitting Sensor (LES) technology?

The LES Sensor System consists of 4 major functional elements to produce a digital image of a fingerprint.

  1. Proprietary and patented electro-luminescent film (LES)
  2. Image camera
  3. LES driver circuit
  4. Communication circuits for different outputs such as USB

Interface-to-host connectivity is accomplished through USB or Parallel connections. LES technology is offered in different sizes and form factors for easy integration into a wide range of applications.

faq-certified

Can Light Emitting Sensor (LES) technology be customized for a specific application?

LES fingerprint scanning technology empowers partners by providing innovative sensors that integrate into small mobile solutions.  LES film is flexible, allowing for sensors that are curved to fit the human finger and for creation of sensors that are customizable to any shape or size.  It can also be made in different colors.

faq-film

LES film can also be printed onto substrates including glass allowing for fingerprint authentication/identification without a distinctly visible sensor or button.

Integrated Biometrics offers different sizes and form factors of “FBI certified” fingerprint capture technologies to meet the needs of mobile ID applications high-security requirements.

What sensor technologies are currently used for fingerprint identification and authentication and how do they compare?

Identification and authentication through individual fingerprints requires three general steps.

  1. Image Generation/Image Capture
  2. Feature Extraction
  3. Matching to an enrollment database

There are many types of fingerprint sensors using different technologies in varying form factors. Techniques for image capture demonstrate an evolution in technology to provide high quality identity imagery.  When comparing original ink-on-paper techniques, optical, capacitive, RF Field, and ultrasound sensor technologies, electroluminescent film like Integrated Biometrics’ Light Emitting Sensor (LES) provides advances throughout each step of the capture process.

Ink-on-paper Techniques involve processing subjects for verification using ink applied directly to the fingers and manually rolling across a paper fingerprint card.  Persons of interest are identified using an existing fingerprint card or from latent prints recovered through an investigation. These paper cards are then scanned into a computer. Collected fingerprint images are compared manually by trained fingerprint examiners against the stored record of fingerprint cards.

Optical Sensor Technologies make use of Frustrated Total Internal Reflection (FTIR) technology to image the fingerprint placed on the top surface of a glass prism. A finger placed on the top surface of the prism causes ridges of the fingerprint to make contact with the glass. A strong light source shines onto the finger at an angle causing internal reflection at the valley areas and sweat pores of the fingerprint. Optical based sensors using FTIR technology have been the only practical technology to achieve the level of image quality necessary to meet FBI standards for large surface (greater than 0.6 x 0.8 inches) area sensors.    

Drawbacks of this technology restrict useful, wide-scale adoption: 

  • Mobile applications suffer the most due to the size, weight, frailty, and large power consumption of the traditional optical assemblies.  Field units require bulky casing to shield and try to protect fragile traditional optical sensor alignments.  The light source required to properly illuminate the subject creates additional power requirements that further reduce effectiveness in mobile applications.
  • FTIR optical technologies use direct visual imaging inherently prone to poor results in sunny or well-lit conditions and fingerprints must be clean and free of all dirt to provide a clear image.   Latent prints left behind on the platen surface can be seen by the camera in subsequent readings and the units require constant cleaning.  FTIR-based optical technologies have difficulty with dry fingers with low contrast between the fingerprint ridge and valleys.  Dry finger performance is improved with silicone membranes installed over the glass surface. Damage and replacement of these membranes (tears and replacements) require frequent maintenance to remain operational.
  • FTIR optical sensors can be readily fooled or spoofed with a latent print or rubber fingerprints. Requirements to shine light on the fingerprint and then capture the refracted light also increase the size of the sensor and can be a disadvantage in non-optimal lighting conditions. For example, daylight use of an optical sensor requires that the sensor be shaded from sunlight or other bright light, so the camera can focus on light from the fingerprint.
  • Cold temperature performance is challenging as a warm finger may cause condensation and fogging of the cold glass platen.  These conditions greatly impact the clarity of the captured image reducing speed and accuracy of match results.  
  • “Light emanating” from the sensor lighting source creates a visible marker detrimental for military applications during nighttime operations.

Under ideal conditions, with “human-guided” operation, optical FTIR technology can provide high quality images and direct upload of the image to a digital database.

Capacitive Sensors

A capacitive sensor is a two-dimensional array of micro-capacitor plates embedded in a chip. The subject finger acts as the second “plate” to complete a circuit.  When a finger is placed on the chip array, electrical charges between the surface of the finger and each of the silicon plates result. The magnitude of these electrical charges depends on the distance between the fingerprint surface and the capacitance plates. The resulting fingerprint “image” from a capacitive sensor is the two-dimensional array of electrical charge values used for matching. The technology is primarily suited for small scale, “one to few” applications.

Poor image quality due to electrical noise and low image resolution rank as the primary disadvantages of capacitive sensor technology.  Very few capacitive sensors have passed FBI certification testing.  The available certified scanners only meet the requirements for the smallest size of image capture (FAP10).

The semiconductor-based technology is prone to electronic damage due to its frail nature, susceptibility to electrostatic discharge (ESD).  Capacitive sensors perform poorly when the subject has dirty or oily fingers; these factors change the capacitance of the finger and impact the captured image.  Current commercial capacitive sensors have false reject and false acceptance rates (FRR/FAR) that are much higher than acceptable for legal identification.

The necessity to create a circuit eliminates some of the common techniques used for spoofing biometric identification; an advantage over comparable FTIR technologies.  The natural advantages of a solid state structure that is thin and lightweight make capacitive sensors a fit for small devices and consumer electronics where one to few matching is prevalent and high quality images is not an application requirement.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound sensor technologies uses echography; sending acoustic signals toward the fingertip and capturing the echo signal. The echo signal is used to compute the range image of the fingerprint and, subsequently, the ridge structure itself. This method images the subsurface of the finger skin; therefore, it is resilient to dirt and oil accumulations that may visually mar the fingerprint.

The application uses for this technology are limited due to the cost, power, size, and weight of the scanner devices.  The technology is not viable for use with mobile applications and serves as a fixed scanning technology.

Digital Matching

Advancements in matching and comparison technologies evolved along with the technologies to capture fingerprint images.  What was a complex and manual process for skilled and well-trained human operators is now quickly accomplished with computers and software.

Using digital capture technology prints are converted from an image into a digital template.  These templates may be recorded and stored in a database for later comparison to subject fingerprints. Applications for digital matching scale from small databases containing hundreds of records to solutions that require matching against hundreds of thousands of records.

Electroluminescent Film

Integrated Biometrics produces a unique sensor type based on electroluminescent Light Emitting Sensor (LES) film to create the fingerprint image.  The patented LES film is a multilayer, polymer composite containing particles that luminesce (give off light) in the presence of an electrical field.

When a finger is placed on the film, the ridges of the fingerprint completes the low level electric circuit which causes the particles in the film to luminesce light, producing a highly accurate, high resolution analog image of the fingerprint. The resolution of the fingerprint image is approximately 1500 PPI.

The high-resolution (1500 PPI), image can be captured using a variety technologies. The image is captured creating an Appendix F, FBI-quality image for flat or rolled fingerprints.

Shown above is the underside of the LES film showing the blue glow of the luminescent LES fingerprint image created when a finger is placed in contact with the top surface of the film.

faq-tft

Image capture for Integrated Biometrics’ Thin Film Transistor based sensors is 500 PPI with pixels that are exactly 50.8 microns in spacing. Image generation using LES film is instantaneous.  

LES sensor technology handles difficult use cases including dry, wet, and dirty fingers by using adaptive circuitry and dynamic capture algorithms that quickly and automatically optimize image quality.

The LES sensor technology is inherently spoof resistant to many techniques, as the fingerprint ridges and features touching the film must be very close to human skin consistency to activate the luminescence. The ridge of the fingerprint touching the film acts as an electrical ground.  Fake fingers using silicone or similar materials and two dimensional images of fingerprints will not create a fingerprint image on the LES sensor.

A silicon “gummy” fake print will not be ‘seen’ by the LES sensor and no image will be collected. Latent prints or dirt left behind will not be seen by the LES sensor. This allows for rapid enrollment and verification of high-quality fingerprints suitable for large applications.

Using proprietary algorithms, the LES sensor technology has extremely low False Acceptance and Reject Rates (FAR/FRR) leading to less frustration for rapid identification as well as authentication of valid users.

Light Emitting Sensor technology by Integrated Biometrics is especially well suited for mobile and outdoor environments.  The nature of the technology eliminates the common failures found in alternative solutions. Operation is consistent in all conditions and image generation is not affected by ambient light or direct sunlight.  LES performance remains consistent throughout extreme temperature variances.  The common problems associated with condensation or fogging on the scanner are eliminated.  The LES technology requires no on-board light source to capture fingerprint images so it is ideal for nighttime military operations.

The low power requirements for LES technology empowers integrators to provide smaller, more mobile solutions bringing biometrics into new applications.

LES film is flexible, allowing for sensors that are curved to fit the human finger. The flexible LES film allows for creation of sensors that are customizable to any shape or size.

faq-film

Light Emitting Sensor film is created by multi-layer screen printing allowing for fingerprint authentication/identification without a distinctly visible sensor or button when printed onto substrates including glass.

How do area sensors compare to swipe sensors?

Area Sensors are flat or curved surfaces where a finger is touched or rolled onto the surface. Multiple images may be taken while the finger is touching the sensor capturing different positions and perspectives.

Area sensors come in a variety of sizes that may accommodate the width of a rolled fingerprint or even multiple finger or palm images captured simultaneously.  Certification standards specify nomenclature for sensor area sizes. For comparison, Finger Acquisition Profile 10 (FAP10), the smallest FBI-certified sensor, is 10 times the area size of the Apple 5S sensor. The active area of the sensor directly affects the accuracy of the identification or authentication and user experience.

In order to gather enough unique detail from the fingerprint to allow authentication, the user must register their fingerprint multiple times in various orientations. This creates a composite profile against which partial fingerprints for a limited number of subjects may be matched. Area sensors smaller than the entire area of the fingerprint limit scalability of the identification/authentication database as the number of matches increases exponentially with each new user.

Swipe Sensors utilize a small rectangle with a width that is typically larger than the finger, and a height that is just few pixels. As the subject sweeps their finger on the sensor, image slices are combined into a two-dimensional image using embedded software. Capacitive sensors are widely used in swipe mode but other technologies can be used in this form factor as well.

The advantage of this sensing geometry is that the sensor can be very small, allowing for a lower cost sensor. The sweeping motion provides to keep the sensor free from debris and latent fingerprints. Swipe geometry does not improve the inherent technology’s ability to read dry, dirty, oily or wet fingerprints.  Swipe sensor technology does not meet FBI certification standards.

The disadvantage of this geometry is that the very small sensor area may perform erratically requiring repeated swipes to confirm a fingerprint match. The stitching process to combine image slices requires additional embedded software and has the potential to introduce image processing errors. Reconstruction of the image allows artifacts to be introduced creating areas of the image that are not real.

How are fingerprints matched with today’s technology?

The science of fingerprint recognition has three general levels of detail.

Chatterjee’s Scheme provides a classification of ridge shape including the count of ridge frequency and distance between ridges.  This level of recognition requires a minimum resolution of 200 pixels per inch (PPI) however most solutions provide a minimum resolution of 250 PPI for greater detail and definition.  Chatterjee’s scheme uses seven types with sub-categories to classify shapes and patterns.

faq-fingerprints

Minutia Points are the second and most common scheme for fingerprint recognition using ridge landmarks such as ridge bifurcation, ridge endings, and ridge lone islands.  Individuals have between 60 and 70 of these landmarks on their fingers. Each ridge makes up part of a ridge group.  Minutia can start to be seen around 300 PPI with clarity around 350-400 PPI.

Between 8-12 of these points are required to legally identify you and this number varies by locale. At resolutions lower than about 380 PPI, you may establish false minutia and high levels of false reject rates (FRR) or false acceptance rates (FAR)

Ridge detail and incipient ridges comprise the third scheme for identification validation. Approximately 10-15% of a fingerprint may be composed of these immature small ridges between the normal ridges; some subjects may entirely lack them. The ridge itself is composed mostly of sweat pores.

Level three detail provides no more identification value than level two in most systems where whole print identification is utilized. It remains of very high value in forensic science where only a small or partial print is available as a reference for identification.  Using low noise technologies, level three details become pronounced in imagery at 500 PPI.  As most capture technologies generate noisy images containing artifacts they require a higher 800-1000 PPI resolution for accurate imagery.

What does it mean to be “certified”?

The US Government has become the standards group for fingerprint readers.  The standards have been developed by the FBI and are now used around the world to ensure fingerprint readers meet high quality standards.  There are two basic standards, Personal Identity Verification (“PIV”) and “Appendix F” of the Electronic Biometric Transmission Specification (EBTS)

PIV defines a set of standards that applies to the lower quality of the fingerprint image. When these standards are achieved, the capture device is deemed to be “certified” at one or more levels of operation.  The standards ensure consistency of quality, usability, and interoperability. Personal Identity Verification standards have a quality level to allow one to one verification.

Most PIV certified sensors generally are FTIR optical with the exception of IB’s LES sensors. Although one capacitive sensor has been certified.

Appendix F requires the highest level of quality.  Appendix F certified devices are capable of 1:1 matching but can also handle 1:N and 1:N identification.  US Government validation has shown that large databases (N) require larger size sensors (FAP 30, 45, 60) and multiple finger enrollment in order to accomplish the objective of rapid, post-enrollment matching.  All these certified sensors are either FTIR Optical or IB’s LES sensors.

Why is FBI certification important?

Certification provides assurance that biometric collection solutions meet or exceed minimum FBI-defined interoperability standards and work with the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Information System (IAFIS) and other AFIS database systems used around the world. Adherence to these standards ensures that images retained by the system are of a specific, high quality and support all phases of identification for both fingerprint experts and IAFIS.

What are the standards?

There are two standards currently in use for fingerprints: Appendix F and PIV-071006.

Appendix F has stringent image quality conditions, focusing on the human fingerprint comparison and facilitating large scale machine many-to-many (1:N) matching operation.

PIV-071006 is a lower-level standard designed to support one-to-one fingerprint verification. Certification is available for devices intended for use in the FIPS 201 PIV program.

What device categories are certified?

Fingerprint printers, card scanners, and live scan devices of multiple types can be certified based upon the appropriate standards.  A certified unit is a configuration of specific hardware and driver/support software optimized for usage with fingerprints.

Fingerprint Card Print Systems include software that generates 10-print fingerprint cards featuring image quality sufficient to support identification/matching.

Fingerprint Card Scanner certification is performed either with or without automatic document feed (ADF). Output resolution must adhere to the high image quality standards imposed by FBI Appendix F within strict limits of either 500 ppi or 1000 ppi.  Multiple live scan categories differ in required collection capabilities including single or multiple fingers, roll-scan or flat, and dimensions of capture area. All categories require strict adherence to image quality and resolutions.

‘Live Scan’ (Tenprint) System includes capability to collect all elements on a ten print card, i.e. roll-scans, plain thumb scans and 4-finger flat scans.

Identification Flats System includes capability to collect 4-finger and 2-thumb flat impressions in a 3.2 x 3.0-inch area.

PIV Single Finger includes capability to collect a single finger flat impression, with a minimum size limitation.

Mobile ID devices can operate in a mobile environment. Only flat impressions are required. The category is subdivided into several levels by Fingerprint Acquisition Profile (FAP) that defines device capture dimensions, image quality specifications, and the number of simultaneous fingers that can be captured.

Additionally, the certification company, MITRE, has outlined a series of Stress Imagery tests that define the performance of certified scanners.  Stress Imagery tests include operations in direct lighting or sunlight and working with contaminated fingers.

What else should be considered when choosing a device from the Certified Product List (CPL)?

A certified unit corresponds to a specific combination of hardware and software configured together to deliver images of impressions that may be useful to both examiners and IAFIS/NGI. Current testing models provide “ideal conditions” to meet the standards often far different from real-world operational use cases.  End users are encouraged to consider and discuss a wide range of topics with vendors.

Architecture

The solution architecture includes a diverse array of factors from power requirements, battery capabilities and runtime, connectivity to external networks, and details like software compatibility and software lifecycles.

Security

Information Assurance standards define how device information may be accessed and what steps must be taken to receive and interpret this data.  Biometric data storage must provide security to protect this critical data.

Operating Conditions

Factors extend well beyond analysis of the surrounding environment. Additional operational considerations may pose requirements for reliable detection using subjects with tattoos or the ability for an end user / operator to have one hand free for use during the entire capture process.

What are the details of the Integrated Biometrics End-of-Support notice for the LEM product line?

LIGHT EMITTING MODULE (LEM) SENSOR END-OF-SUPPORT NOTICE

This is a notification on Integrated Biometrics’ (IB’s) end-of-support plans for Light Emitting Module (LEM) Sensors.  IB’s end-of-support plans include:

This notice covers the following products:

TBM 320 5v / LEM 2000
TBM 330 5v /LEM 100
LEM 5000 / TBM 370 5 V
LEM 2000 3.3 / TBM 320 3.3
LEM 100 3.2 V/TBM 330 3.3
LEM Developer Com Kit Assembly

LEM Production & Technical Support Timeline

  • Product discontinuance notice – 03 May 2016
  • Last date to accept orders – 01 August 2016
  • End of production – 01 Nov 2016
  • Expected end of replacement stock – Q1 2017

LEM sensor customers wishing to order multi-year supplies of product may do so in advance of 01 August 2016.  Customers may place orders through the IB corporate website or their regional sales representative. Visit https://integratedbiometrics.com/contact/.

Should you have any questions about this end of availability notification, or for assistance in understanding the options available to you, please contact your regional sales representative. For more information about Integrated products and support please visit:

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To contact Integrated Biometrics with any questions, please call:

  • Africa +27 73-186-6480
  • Asia and Australia +65 8319-6878
  • Latin America +51 1-368-5051
  • South Korea +82 31-777-2207
  • US, Europe and Middle East +1 864-990-3711