Computer scientists at Michigan State University have built the first three-dimensional model of a human fingerprint.
They say it will not only help today’s fingerprint matching technology do its job better, but could eventually lead to improvements in security.
The method, developed by Anil Jain, his MSU colleagues and research collaborator Nick Paulter at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, takes a two dimensional image of a fingerprint and maps it to a 3-D finger surface.
The 3-D finger surface, complete with all the ridges and valleys that make up the human fingerprint, is then made using a 3-D printer.
It creates what Jain’s team called a fingerprint "phantom."
They say that tools like this would help improve the overall accuracy of fingerprint matching systems, which eventually leads to better security in applications ranging from law enforcement to mobile phone unlock.