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Innovatrics and SmartMetric fingerprint innovations to support shrinking biometric card components


Innovatrics has developed a Small Area Matcher algorithm based on deep learning and convolutional neural networks, rather than traditional minutiae points, to support sensor miniaturization, and the algorithm has been implemented by fingerprint sensor company MoriX.

The companies have launched a working model of a smart card that they say performs local fingerprint authentication in less than a second.

“Achieving sensor miniaturization in traditional fingerprint matching required a novel approach,” comments Innovatrics CEO Jan Lunter. “Our algorithm is able to compare a user’s fingerprint to a template stored in a card in record time on the stock 100 MHz ARM M4 MCU. The Innovatrics small area matcher algorithm can be used in virtually any application where small scale fingerprint sensors (optical or ultrasonic) and constrained hardware options are required.”

MoriX sensor technology and Innovatrics algorithm allows the smart card to function with current from contactless terminals, as little as 4mA. MoriX has developed a fingerprint sensor thin enough to be embedded in a smart card, with a thickness of 0.76 mm and an 8 mm x 8 mm surface with a resolution of 160 x 160 pixels.

“We are proud to be able to produce such a thin and lightweight sensor that can be incorporated into standard-sized contactless cards without any need for internal power supply,” adds MoriX CEO Morihiko Kubota.

Innovatrics’ algorithm can be used with small and cost-effective fingerprint sensors for highly efficient and accurate authentication on IoT devices, door locks, automotive sensors, and smartphones.

While most new biometric smart cards leverage the current of contactless terminals, SmartMetric has announced the development of a new self-powered smart card with its Nano fingerprint scanner built in.

The company had to reduce the thickness of components including the circuit board to less than a third the height of a credit card, according to the announcement, and a power management system that allows the fingerprint to be authenticated before the card is used with the payment terminal. The motherboard includes an ARM Cortex processor for powerful processing and additional security, and fingerprint scanning and matching takes less than a quarter of a second, and turns on the card so it can be used with the terminal.

SmartMetric currently has the capacity to produce up to 1 million motherboards a month for its fingerprint scanner, and is planning to increase capacity to at least 5 million cards a month.

“What SmartMetric has achieved in the electronics field has in fact turned the humble and ubiquitous credit card into a powerful electronic device,” claims SmartMetric President and CEO, Chaya Hendrick. “SmartMetric is currently working on expanding the card’s internal memory from Megabytes to Gigabytes allowing for exciting new multi-functional applications for the new intelligent credit card device that we have created.”

The batteries used by SmartMetric for its biometric card products were certified for air and ground transport to and from Asia in September.

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