Next Biometrics cites study on fingerprint sensor size

April 14, 2015 - 

NEXT Biometrics Group ASA announced that a study by University Carlos III of Madrid proves that fingerprint sensor accuracy directly correlates to the size of sensors used in smartphones, PCs and other devices.

Initiated by NEXT Biometrics, the “Madrid Report” was independently conducted by Professor Sanchez-Reillo at the University Carlos III of Madrid.

The study tested three market-leading sensors under rigorous scientific conditions, collecting more than 80,000 fingerprints and making more than 100 million comparisons.

“The university study supports what biometric experts around the world have said for years, that size is the key factor in fingerprint sensor accuracy,” said NEXT Biometrics CEO Tore Etholm-Idsoe. “A reliable fingerprint sensor system cannot compromise on sensor area. Going forward, expanding the use of fingerprint systems into payments, cloud access and corporate access, the importance of sensor system reliability will grow further.”

The study showed that if the acceptable rate for false acceptance is set at 1 in 10,000, a sensor size of 200 square millimeters will result in less than 1% false rejections when used with a high-end algorithm.

Comparatively, if the sensor’s active area is reduced in half to 100 square millimeters the average false rejection rates increases significantly to more than 5%.

Therefore, the study shows that considerably more users will be rejected during enrollment when using a small area sensor.

“To compensate for small sizes, some suppliers have recommended multiple finger placements to improve performance (a method patented by Apple),” said Etholm-Idsoe. “Even when taking this method into account, the performance quality was dramatically reduced. The study also proves that changing the algorithm used in the system does not change the results significantly. Size is still the dominant factor.”

NEXT said the Madrid tests were performed in a controlled indoor environment in order to avoid skewed finger placements and variables like wet and dirty fingers, which would occur in an outdoor environment.

Previously reported, Next Biometrics Group ASA launched its NB-1011-S fingerprint area sensor module, a high quality serial interface sensor module designed for applications in physical access control, time and attendance, portable hard drives, smart card readers, safety boxes, and voting machines.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.