Biometric Basics: Your Detailed Overview of the 4 Types of Fingerprint Scanner

Fingerprint Scanner – Photo by George Prentzas on Unsplash

Using our fingerprints to identify us is not new technology. In fact, we’ve been using fingerprints to prove who we are since 300 BCE in China, 702 CE in Japan, and 1902 in the United States.

Of course, technology has come a long way since then, and we’re now in the digital age. We’re still using fingerprints to confirm our identities, but we’re currently doing so with the help of complex technological systems. Whether it’s a biometric access system or fingerprint time clock, these devices make it easier for us to access buildings but harder to commit forgery.

Many individuals and businesses are starting to see the value in fingerprint scanners. However, before you make a purchasing decision, it’s essential to learn about the most common types available on the market.

Capacitive Fingerprint Scanner

If price isn’t a barrier for you, capacitive fingerprint scanners might be a worthwhile option. They are among the most expensive scanners on the market, but they are also renowned for their exceptional image quality and accuracy.

In some ways, these scanners work like optical sensors. However, they generate their digital fingerprint pattern through electrical voltage. You also swipe your finger over the scanner rather than placing it on the panel to be read. Once you provide your fingerprint, the many thousands of internal capacitors map your fingerprint pattern and confirm or deny access.

fingerprint scanner

Fingerprint Scanner – Photo by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Optical Fingerprint Scanner

As far as age and popularity go, optical fingerprint scanners are among the best options for individuals and businesses. Optical scanners have been around the longest and capture images similar to photographs. They use these images to detect unique patterns on the fingerprint, like marks and ridges. An optical scanner does this by analyzing the areas of the picture that produce the most light and darkness.

When you see optical fingerprint scanners for sale with wide-ranging price tags, you might be curious about why some are more expensive than others. Typically, this has to do with their resolution. The higher the resolution, the more details the scanner can capture and the more security it can provide.

Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner

Smartphone manufacturers likely knew that we were getting tired of entering our passwords time and time again. We want to keep our devices secure but don’t want to waste time remembering letter and number combinations.

In 2014, that stopped being a problem. The first Android smartphone was produced with a fingerprint sensor. Since then, this has become a standard feature in high-end smartphones.

Most smartphones now use ultrasonic fingerprint scanners with ultrasonic transmitters and receivers. When you place your finger over the scanner, an ultrasonic pulse is transmitted against it, sending a unique pulse back to the sensor based on the pores, ridges, and other unique details of your finger.

Thermal Fingerprint Scanner

Thermal fingerprint scanners identify temperature differences between each ridge and valley of your unique fingerprint. Rather than swiping or placing your finger on the sensor to capture your fingerprint, thermal scanners require you to move your finger linearly over the small, narrow sensor to capture your fingerprint data.

These scanners rely on heat, which means they work at their best when there’s a temperature difference of at least one degree between the ambient temperature and the surface of your finger. Like other types of sensors, it can be passive or active.

Padlocks and passwords are no longer enough to keep buildings, rooms, and mobile devices safe. When you’re looking for a higher level of protection to prevent unauthorized access and forgery, the fingerprint scanner is your best bet.

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By Rossel

Graduate of B.S. Medical Technology but landed in the field of business and writing. She has gone from being a white-collared job employee to an entrepreneur because of the world's changes and demanding needs. She is currently maintaining 4 blogs with different niches such as business and finance, parenting and family, health and beauty, and home improvement.

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