News › More speed and secu­rity for fin­ger­print capture

Digi­tal 3D fin­ger­print cap­ture with micro­sco­pic resolution

Euro­pean Union sel­ects Thu­rin­gia-based bio­me­trics startup IDloop for €10 mil­lion funding.

Struc­tu­red light illu­mi­na­tes the hand, from which the sys­tem gene­ra­tes a 3D point cloud that it con­verts into a 2D image.

The startup IDloop has deve­lo­ped the world’s first 3D scan­ner that cap­tures fin­ger­prints wit­hout cont­act and with micro­sco­pic reso­lu­tion. It dra­sti­cally speeds up matching with exis­ting data­ba­ses and is secure and hygie­nic. To deve­lop the sys­tem to mar­ket rea­di­ness, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has sel­ec­ted the pro­ject for €10 mil­lion in fun­ding under the EIC Accelerator.

More than three bil­lion peo­ple are curr­ently regis­tered in govern­ment fin­ger­print data­ba­ses. All of this data was recor­ded cont­act-based – by tou­ch­ing scan­ner sur­faces – and to this day can only be matched in this way.  They are used, for exam­ple, in access and bor­der con­trols and in app­ly­ing for and matching bio­me­tric iden­ti­fi­ca­tion docu­ments, as well as in cri­mi­na­li­stics and voter registration.

Cont­act-based fin­ger­print cap­ture and veri­fi­ca­tion is time-con­sum­ing, incon­ve­ni­ent, and unhy­gie­nic. Many cont­act­less scan­ners are not secure and the data for­mats are not com­pa­ti­ble with exis­ting databases.

In con­trast, IDloop’s opti­cal 3D ima­ging tech­no­logy cap­tures the fin­ger­print cha­rac­te­ristics that are uni­que to each per­son, cont­act­lessly, with micro­sco­pic reso­lu­tion and in a frac­tion of a second. The users hold one hand over the optics for a short time, while the scan­ner cap­tures the 3D image. The image acqui­si­tion of both hands, inclu­ding post-pro­ces­sing, takes less than ten seconds. This signi­fi­cantly speeds up hand­ling, for exam­ple in inter­na­tio­nal travel.

The patent-pen­ding scan­ner ope­ra­tes at a reso­lu­tion of ten micro­me­ters, which is about one-fifth the thic­k­ness of a human hair. From this 3D data, the sys­tem cal­cu­la­tes 2D grayscale images in real time, i.e. »clas­sic« fin­ger­print images«. Thus, for the first time, fin­ger­prints taken wit­hout cont­act are com­pa­ti­ble with exis­ting fin­ger­print data­ba­ses. In addi­tion, the unri­va­led level of detail of the novel 3D cap­ture tech­no­logy increa­ses the accu­racy of data­base matching and coun­ter­feit detection.

Jörg Rein­hold, CEO at IDloop, brings long expe­ri­ence in image pro­ces­sing: »The micro­me­ter-accu­rate detec­tion of moving objects, for exam­ple the hand in our scan­ner, is one of the chal­len­ging tasks in bio­me­tric image cap­ture. With high-per­for­mance gra­phics pro­ces­sors and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence-based soft­ware, we have mana­ged to fit this com­plex issue into an easy-to-use device mea­su­ring just 15 x 15 x 15 cm.«

Ten mil­lion euros from the Euro­pean Union

The Euro­pean Union is sup­port­ing the fur­ther deve­lo­p­ment of the sys­tem to mar­ket rea­di­ness as part of its »EIC Acce­le­ra­tor« pro­gram with ten mil­lion euros, con­sis­ting of grants and invest­ments through the EIC Fund. IDloop is the first com­pany from Cen­tral Ger­many – and thus also the first from Thu­rin­gia, – to qua­lify for this Euro­pean program.

Marion Wals­mann (CDU), Mem­ber of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment from Thu­rin­gia, is exci­ted for IDloop: »With the new sys­tem, IDloop is set­ting a new stan­dard in bio­me­trics in the glo­bal mar­ket. The pro­ject is an impres­sive exam­ple of how Thu­rin­gian com­pa­nies and rese­arch insti­tu­ti­ons work hand in hand with Europe. This is how tech­no­logy from Thu­rin­gia rea­ches the whole world.«

About IDloop

The foun­ders (from left): Phil­ipp Riehl, Busi­ness Deve­lo­p­ment; Daniel Gläs­ner, Soft­ware Stra­tegy; Jörg Rein­hold, Mana­ging Direc­tor; Dr. Tom Mich­alsky, Pro­duct Development

IDloop GmbH, foun­ded in Jena in 2021, deve­lops sys­tems for cont­act­less fin­ger­print cap­ture. Even before the com­pany was foun­ded, the four foun­ders had worked tog­e­ther for seve­ral years on topics rela­ted to bio­me­trics. In the pro­cess, they reco­gni­zed a high poten­tial for the cont­act­less cap­ture of fingerprints.

IDloop has alre­ady recei­ved seve­ral awards for its inno­va­tive approach, such as the Pitch Award at the Inves­tor Days Thu­rin­gia, the KPMG Audi­ence Award and the Inno­va­tion Award Thu­rin­gia in the cate­gory »Light & Life«.

Twelve engi­neers from various disci­pli­nes curr­ently work for the com­pany at its head­quar­ters in Jena.