IIT Kanpur Alumnus Builds World’s First Three-Dimensional Fingerprint
IIT Kanpur Alumnus Builds World’s First Three-Dimensional FingerprintREUTERS/Beawiharta Beawiharta

A team of computer scientists from Michigan State University (MSU) led by Anil Jain, an alumnus from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur have developed a three-dimensional model of a human fingerprint.

The aim of developing the model is not only to improve the fingerprint-matching technology but to improve the security measures too, according to a post on MSU website.

The three dimensional surface is made using a three dimensional printer named by the scientists as 'phantom'.

Medical imaging often utilizes imaging phantom. For example, in order to confirm if the MRI machine or a CT scanner is functioning effectively, it needs to image a known dimension object and its material properties.

"In health care, a 3D heart or kidney can be created. Because the dimensions are known, they can be put into a scanner and the imaging system can be calibrated. When I have this 3D fingerprint phantom, I know its precise measurements. And because I know the true dimensions of the fingerprint features on this phantom, I can better evaluate fingerprint readers." NDTV Gadgets quoted Jain, a university professor of computer science and engineering as saying.

"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," Jain added.

Currently, the three dimensional model doesn't have the accurate texture or the feel of a real finger but has advanced fingerprint sensing and matching technology.

Jain holds a B.Tech degree from IIT Kanpur, a masters and Ph.D degree from Ohio State University. He is the author of several books on fingerprint/facial recognition and biometrics and even holds six US patents on fingerprint matching. Jain has also received many prestigious awards for his contributions to biometrics and pattern recognition.

Jain's team member included Sunpreet Arora, a computer science research student, Kai Cao, a research associate in computer science and engineering and Nick Paulter, research collaborator at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.