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CSIR offers contactless fingerprint biometric software to partners in South Africa

CSIR offers contactless fingerprint biometric software to partners in South Africa

South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is bringing a contactless fingerprint biometric software enabling template creation and matching through smartphones to market, seeking expressions of interest from potential implementation partners. Further, the biometric technology works with the very soft finger surfaces of infants, the organization says.

The government-owned research body is asking suitable partners in government departments, law enforcement, military and border control services, aviation, retail, gaming, and the financial and healthcare sectors to express their interest in trialing the touchless biometric technology by October 25, 2021.

The project goal “is to provide a local technology that caters for the entire value chain of fingerprint biometrics, using contactless scanners innovatively.” The software provides the capability to store and match fingerprint templates.

As a contactless technology, it also works with the fingerprints of infants, according to the announcement, as it does not stretch or compress the skin of the fingers as a contact-based scanner does. The announcement suggests the use of the fingerprinting software with infants from six weeks of age “and possibly younger.”

By using smartphones and other commonly available digital imaging devices, CSIR says the software also reduces the cost of biometrics deployment.

CSIR and touchless fingerprints

CSIR has been working on biometric identification for minors for several years.

At ID4Africa 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa, CSIR participated in a panel on infant biometrics. The CSIR representative spoke about the potential of ear-shape biometrics, and that its research team was using a contactless device with high resolution in its research on infant fingerprints.

Another group represented in the panel was Element, which has also worked on smartphone-based touchless fingerprints.

CSIR also announced the results of a study into the use of ear shape, irises and fingerprint biometrics for infants earlier this year, and said that it had developed the technology for contactless fingerprints.

Contactless fingerprint technology is offered through specialized devices by Idemia, and through smartphone cameras by Veridium, Sciometrics, and Tech5.

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