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NIST Report Details Performance Accuracy of Contactless Fingerprint Scanning Devices

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has tested six commercially available contactless fingerprinting technologies and found that such platforms performed better than contact-based devices when scanning multiple prints against a database.

NIST said Tuesday it released an interagency report titled “Interoperability Assessment 2019: Contactless-to-Contact Fingerprint Capture” and used four smartphone-based contactless technologies as well as two standalone contactless platforms to fingerprint 200 volunteers. The agency said it also used two contact devices as part of the study.

According to NIST’s report, contactless devices performed with a 60 to 70 percent accuracy compared to contact devices’ 99.5 percent record for single-finger capture. However, NIST found that contactless devices reached around 90 to 95 percent accuracy and garnered low “false positive” rates when scanning multiple finger combinations.

“One objective of the NIST study was to evaluate the interoperability of these contactless representations with older print impressions,” NIST said. “In short, how well do the new contactless devices match their scans with existing database entries?”

The report will serve as an update to NIST’s report on contactless capture issued in 2018 to aid organizations in deploying fingerprint-scanning capabilities.