Suprema ID responds to maturing African fingerprint market demand with BioMini Slim 3
To meet customer demand for secure FAP 30 fingerprint scanning with mobile devices in countries like Nigeria and Uganda, Suprema ID has launched its new BioMini Slim 3 to commercial availability just ahead of ID4Africa 2019.
By launching FAP 30 scanning to the slim form-factor of the BioMini Slim product line, Suprema ID addresses the evolving market for sensors with a larger platen area to meet more stringent accuracy requirements, which have also been adopted in other African countries and Saudi Arabia.
The company has responded to the increased market demand for FAP 30 fingerprint scanners, which only a handful of providers make, Suprema ID Sales Manager Martin Kim told Biometric Update in an interview.
Improvements in optical technology have enabled sensors which are slimmer and smaller in height, allowing them to be built into tablets and smartphones. Increased use of fingerprint biometrics for a range of applications and industries is also driving demand for mobile scanning capabilities. Mobile device OEMs are themselves competing on device size, and therefore have particular requirements for FAP 30 scanners.
“In order to keep their design concepts, they definitely need the slimmest form factor for fingerprint sensors,” Kim says. “There are many types of sensors, capacitive, optical, TFT, but their customers prefer the optical type, and there are no options.”
Despite the increase in platen size, the BioMini Slim 3 is only 0.8 by 1 inch, just slightly larger than the BioMini Slim 2’s 0.6 by 0.8 inches. It is FBI PIV / FBI Mobile ID FAP30 compliant, and IP65-rated for proof against dust and water.
The BioMini Slim 3 also features Suprema’s patented Multi Dynamic Range (MDR) technology to provide high-quality image capture in direct sunlight (up to 100,000 LUX) and with wet fingers, which are important due to the dramatic increase in fingerprint biometrics use outdoors with mobile devices. The company’s Live Finger Detection (LFD) technology for protection against spoof attacks. Liveness detection has become an expected capability, but Suprema’s has earned a reputation for effectiveness, according to Kim.
“Suprema’s Live Finger Detection is machine learning-based, so our engine continuously learns fake and genuine fingers, and improves its performance,” he explains. “Also, regardless of which of our fingerprint scanners is used, we can upgrade our engine through the SDK if a customer faces a new kind of spoof.”
Suprema ID has also integrated a CPU and memory into the BioMini Slim 3, making it the first FAP 30 scanner with an internal processor. The processor makes fingerprint data transmission more stable, pre-processes images for enhanced matching, and provides fast data previewing, according to Kim. The integrated computing power also enables the BioMini Slim 3 to be deployed as a stand-alone device, where the BioMini Slim 2 was launched first as a module, and then afterwards as a stand-alone device.
Most implementations, however, will be in mobile devices, Kim says. Suprema ID and other scanner-makers have experimented with fingerprint scanning peripherals and attachments in various models, he says, but customers have shown a clear preference for embedded solutions.
Prototypes shown at Trustech and Connect:ID were well received, so Kim is confident that with the scanner’s commercial availability at ID4Africa, the features, price, and form factor of the new FAP 30 offering will lead to strong OEM partnerships to serve the public and private sectors. Several of the company’s existing OEM partners have been waiting for the BioMini Slim 3’s release to launch FAP 30 devices, after finding success with integrations of the BioMini Slim 2, according to Kim.
The evolution towards more secure fingerprinting standards reflects the increasing maturity in several nation’s identity ecosystems.
“Fingerprint scanners are now being used for diverse sectors, like telcos and banks, with different needs in different countries and regions,” he says. “As their uses for the technology has expanded, and they have gained experience, some governments have changed their requirements or specs for fingerprint scanners; first from FAP 10 to FAP 20, and now FAP 30.”
Like its FAP 20 predecessor, Suprema ID’s BioMini Slim will be launched in 3 and 3S versions.
“The new Suprema ID’s FAP30-compliant fingerprint scanner has been designed to provide the best reliable fingerprint authentication performance over dynamic environments such as outdoor and mobile situations,” says Suprema ID CEO Bogun Park in the company announcement. “At Suprema ID, our commitment is to provide the best product beyond market expectation with the highest user’s convenience and security.”
Suprema ID also recently announced its BioMini SDK has been certified ‘Citrix Ready’ for enterprises using the productivity software giant’s tools.