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Fingerprint distortion elimination cracked by Warwick Scientists.

University Of Warwick : 25 October, 2007  (New Product)
Warwick University has developed the means of removing distortion from fingerprints due to smudging or uneven pad pressure widening the scope for fingerprint identification accuracy.
Researchers at the University of Warwick have devised a means of identifying
partial, distorted, scratched, smudged, or otherwise warped fingerprints in
just a few seconds.

Previous techniques have tried to identify a few key features on a finger
print and laboriously match them against a database of templates. The
University of Warwick researchers consider the entire detailed pattern of
each print and transform the topological pattern into a standard co-ordinate
system. This allows the researchers to 'unwarp' any finger print that has
been distorted by smudging, uneven pressure, or other distortion and create
a clear digital representation of the fingerprint that can then be mapped on
to an 'image space' of all other finger prints held on a database.

This unwarping is so effective that it also for the first time allows
comparison of the position of individual sweat pores on finger print. This
has not previously been possible as the hundreds of pores on an individual
finger are so densely packed that the slightest distortion prevented
analysts from using them to differentiate finger prints.

The 'unwarping' of distorted, damaged or partial prints is not the only
benefit of the new technology. The system created by the Warwick researchers
is also able to give almost instantaneous results. Instead of laboriously
comparing a print against each entry in a database any new print scanned by
the system is unwarped and over laid onto a virtual 'image space' that
includes all the fingerprints available to the database. It does not matter
whether it's a thousand or a million fingerprints in the database the result
comes back in seconds.

The University of Warwick researchers have set up a spin out company
'Warwick Warp' to take the technology to market. This summer they took part
in a 3 day exhibition at the London Science Museum to test their technology.
Dr Li Wang, Chief Technology Officer at Warwick Warp said:

'We tested our system on nearly 500 visitors from all over the world and
achieved 100% accuracy. Many of the visitors were children and children's
fingerprints are particularly challenging as they generally contain finer
features on a smaller area than adult fingers. Children often tend to twist
their finger when placing the finger on the scanner, creating an elastic
deformation which provides a great testing ground for our technology. '

Dr Li Wang also said: 'Our technology also provides high speed and more
importantly, our system's accuracy and speed doesn't degrade when the size
of database increases.'

The researchers are exploring a number of commercial opportunities for their
new technology including commercial access control systems, financial
transaction authorization systems and possibly even ID cards passports or
border control systems and are now seeking venture capital to assist such
commercial developments.
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