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What is the most used mobile biometric?

What is the most used mobile biometric?
While there are many forms of biometric data that can be taken (e.g., fingerprint, face, iris, palm, etc.), the biometrics most available in mobility are fingerprint, face and iris.
While there are many forms of biometric data that can be taken (e.g., fingerprint, face, iris, palm, etc.), the biometrics most available in mobility are fingerprint, face and iris. “Fingerprint and facial recognition lend themselves more to mobile devices because of the size of the fingerprint plate and the commonality of cameras,” Shelley Luster, Marketing Manager at Fulcrum Biometrics, said.

The fingerprint, however, is still the most widely used biometric used for identification. Gunther Mull, CEO of Dermalog, noted there are historical reasons for this since fingerprints have long been used as a secure feature of identification in border control and law enforcement.

Rémi Guidet, Marketing Director for Identification Solutions at Gemalto, attributes the high use of fingerprint biometrics to two things. “First the scanner size has been reduced during several years to be integrated in mobile solutions. Effectively the integration started with capacitive FAP10 technology and has evolved rapidly to optical FAP20 and LES (light emitting sensor) FAP30 and FAP45 technology that permits it to have a very good fingerprint quality acquisition, as well as be compliant to NIST recommendations,” he said. 
Gunther Mull, CEO,

“Secondly, fingerprint biometric acquisition is the most easy and reliable to perform in mobility; compared to face acquisition which requires very good environment mastering
(i.e., background, light, positioning and cropping) to be able to perform matching with good data. The iris scan requires to have specific camera for acquisition (infrared) mostly integrated in binocular dual capture camera. The palm print is not adapted to mobile due to the size of scanner,” Guidet added.

Jacky Lecuivre, CEO of Coppernic, explained, “Compared to the others, the operating mode to capture a fingerprint is very fast, easy and ergonomic and it can be very reliable as long as you use a good reader. It can verify the identity of any individual by comparing his or her fingerprint with that encrypted in his or her proof of identity, or by sending the biometric data directly to a centralized AFIS.”

Using Other Biometrics

Although fingerprint dominates the mobile devices in these verticals, there is an increasing demand for portable devices that are capable of facial or iris recognition.

The type of biometric modality utilized, however, is highly dependent on the application, use case and integrity of the matching database. “If the application is exception processing of a traveler who fails to be identified by a face recognition camera while queueing to board a flight, one might capture fingerprints to validate identity. Generally speaking, fingerprints and face images are the most common, with the largest matching databases. ICAO compliant passports contain face images, with many countries storing fingerprint biometrics on the chip as well,” Hinmon said.

“Driver licenses contain a face image and criminal records contain both the fingerprints and a mugshot. In the case of a roadside stop where the subject is unable to produce a valid credential, an officer could establish identity, or at least rule out possible criminal history, using fingerprinting. This application is referred to as rapid mobile ID and typically involves the capture of two or more fingerprints on a mobile fingerprinting device,” explained John Hinmon, VP for Global Marketing of Crossmatch.

Multimodal mobile biometrics increase efficiency in the field

The use of fingerprints by law enforcement and border control to identify and authenticate persons has become a norm. But for a more accurate and secure method, these agencies are now starting to use multimodal biometrics.

“The use of multimodal biometric handheld devices is currently one of the most important trends in the industry,” said Mull. “Simultaneous checking of several biometric features increases the accuracy of biometric systems. By now, numerous devices can perform a multimodal identification.”

Fingerprint and facial recognition is the common combination for multimodal biometric authentication. This is mostly due to the fact that biometric databases most often collect fingerprint and face data. In terms of mobile devices, “Most of the time, mobile biometric devices offer fingerprint capture and facial recognition using the camera autofocus of the device and specific facial recognition algorithms,” added Lecuivre. In the field, the use of multimodal biometric devices greatly benefits both law enforcement and border control agents. 
John Hinnom, VP,
Global Marketing,

“In law enforcement, for example anti-narcotics, it has proven useful to incorporate multiple modalities to facilitate the processing of subjects,” explained Hinmon. “A drug house is raided and 20 individuals are detained, virtually all with no or falsified documentation. Officers can quickly fingerprint and take mugshots of each using a multimodal device, creating a comprehensive digital record for each subject for reference.”

Hinmon also explained how multimodal biometric devices can be used for border control. “Rather than taking time to unload a coach or train at the border, a handheld device could be used by border agents as they move through the coach or car,” he said. “If they encounter something suspicious, they may require a fingerprint for exception processing. While the smart device being utilized could contain a camera, it may not be utilized in the workflow. It would be more likely that the device would incorporate or have a peripheral MRZ reader to process the passport.”

Product Adopted:
Biometrics, Biometrics
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