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Hoyos partners with NIST to improve gov’t evaluation of contactless fingerprint capture devices


Hoyos Labs has partnered with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop new ways to measure the image fidelity of contactless fingerprint capture devices to be considered for inclusion on the U.S. government’s Certified Product Lists.

In law enforcement, the most commonly used fingerprint scanning devices digitally capture a fingerprint pressed on a glass surface with livescan technology. These devices present the notable disadvantages of taking extra time and hygienic issues.

To address these concerns, law enforcement officials are researching contactless fingerprint readers as a more effective and efficient alternative.

Continuing the efforts of previous programs operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to evaluate contactless fingerprint capture technology, NIST – sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Biometric Center of Excellence – recently launched a Contactless Fingerprint Capture Device Measurement Research Program.

The NIST program involves the direct interaction of emerging technologies to address several industry challenges, including data format standards and best practices, development of methods for certification testing, and interoperability assessment with legacy contact-based devices.

Through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NIST, Hoyos Labs has submitted its touchless mobile biometric application, 4F, for blind pilot testing.

Hoyos Labs joins several of NIST’s other CRADA partners, including 3M and MorphoTrack, in contributing its touchless fingerprint capturing technology to ensure the performance metrics stemming from the partnership will be suitable for a wide range of devices.

“Our participation in NIST’s research program is mutually beneficial,” said Hector Hoyos, founder and CEO of Hoyos Labs. “Not only are we playing a critical role in building a worldwide standard for testing contactless fingerprint scanners, but NIST researchers are also providing us with new scenarios that we have been previously unable to test using human subjects – to help us better understand any limitations to our product and make the necessary improvements.”

Hoyos Labs’ 4F identification technology simultaneously captures all four fingerprints by leveraging high-resolution camera capability and flash lighting mode on modern smartphones.

Hoyos Labs ran several tests that adhered to the FBI’s 2D image quality standards, which proved that 4F is able to generate images that illustrate exceptional geometric fidelity, sharpness, detail rendition and grayscale dynamic range with low noise characteristics.

The 4F technology prevents several distortion problems that occur with existing hardware scanners, such as elastic deformation when pressing a finger on the scanner surface, and creating a biometric template that is an exact duplicate of the captured finger impression.

4F enables law enforcement agencies to cross-reference a person’s fingerprints against current federal databases and confirm their identity within minutes.

Under the CRADA, the program’s test results will be distributed to Hoyos Labs scientists to be evaluated for future inclusion in 4F technology research and development.

In November, Hoyos Labs CEO and founder, Hector Hoyos, spoke to BiometricUpdate.com about how the 1U and 4F platforms work, how Koopjesdrogisterij is using these technologies to authenticate its customers, and the company’s plans to implement these solutions in other online stores.

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