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Sciometrics joins NIST’s contactless fingerprint capture devices research program


Sciometrics has revealed a partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop standards for image quality for contactless fingerprint capture devices such as smartphones and other mobile devices.

The purpose of the partnership, a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), is to develop new methods and standards that can support evaluation of these devices by the U.S. Government for certification and use by federal agencies. Certification by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for submission of fingerprints for background checks is an important topic in the CRADA program.

“We are pleased to contribute to the science and standards in an initiative that will greatly expand mobile identity management while dramatically lowering the costs,” said Mark Walch, CEO of Sciometrics. “As we announced earlier this month, our mobile SlapShot app, the subject of the CRADA, is already in beta testing with government agencies. It has also generated interest from the private sector ranging from app security providers to smartphone manufacturers who see an opportunity to replace fingerprint sensors.”

NIST, working with the FBI’s Biometric Center of Excellence, started its Contactless Fingerprint Capture Device Measurement Research Program in 2015. Through the CRADA, Sciometrics will provide its SlapShot mobile app for blind testing and join NIST’s other CRADA partners, including 3M, MorphoTrack and Hoyos Laboratories. The CRADA program requires a close working relationship between NIST and each CRADA participant to ensure the performance metrics that emerge from the collaboration will be suitable for a broad range of devices. Sciometrics will contribute to the development of standards while working to improve its products.

The SlapShot app, when in “administered” mode, captures all ten fingers plus a face in less than a minute using only a phone’s camera. And a “fingerprint selfie” version will allow users to sign into apps or their phones using between one and four fingers. The Android app obtains images already proven to match against non-customized third party AFIS systems. An iOS app has also been prototyped and will be added later this year.

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