Biometric Fundamentals

Livescan Fingerprinting — Your Questions, Answered, Part 2


In our first post we answered what livescan fingerprinting is, its common uses, advantages and a few features to consider when specifying a system. In this post, we will define FAP levels and review livescan certifications, as well as provide an overview of the range of Crossmatch livescan collection devices for comparison purposes.

What is FAP?

FAP stands for fingerprint acquisition profile. It is defined in the ANSI/NIST-ITL Standard. There are many FAP profiles, for instance, FAP 30, FAP 45, FAP 60. Basically, these profiles identify how large the capture region is for the fingerprint sensor.

So why is the size important? There is a tradeoff between capture region size and usability of the scanner. A large region is easy to use but can be more expensive, whereas a small region is often cheaper but more difficult to use to capture a quality image.

A FAP 60 device has a 3.2 inch by 3 inch capture region of 500 pixels per inch (ppi) and is ideal for capturing a full slap image (i.e. all four fingers placed on platen at same time). A FAP 45 device has a 1.6 inch by 1.5 inch capture region of 500 ppi is ideally suited for capturing 2 finger flats and rolled fingerprint capture. A FAP 30 device has a 0.8 inch by 1 inch of 500 ppi is suitable for capturing a single finger with a high degree of usability.

Is Livescan Hardware Reliable?

Yes. In tests, livescan hardware is typically rated at approximately 45,000 hours MTBF — around five years of continuous use. Leading providers achieve real-world results well in excess of this when devices are properly maintained.

Do Livescan Readers Meet Compliance Needs?

Yes. Depending on the hardware you use, livescan devices can meet several regulations. For instance, the following standards are examples that apply to different markets:

  • FBI Appendix F IQS and Mobile ID FAP 45 certifications.
  • FBI Appendix F IQS certified upper, lower, hypothenar and ulnar side (writer’s palm).
  • FBI PIV IQS and Mobile ID certifications.
  • India STQC certification for UID program.

Additionally, agencies can search and enroll into the FBI’s National Palm Print System (NPPS), accessing valuable data to support criminal investigations.

One question that is often asked is regarding PIV certification of Appendix F certified devices. The answer is that PIV certification is a strict subset of Appendix F. Any certified Appendix F scanner is by definition certified for PIV. However, it is important to note that PIV scanners are not necessarily certified for Appendix F.

What Livescan Devices does Crossmatch Provide?

Crossmatch provides a wide range of livescan devices and capture technologies.  We do this because not every application need or use case environment is the same. Having the right system for the job can make all the difference – and when you are talking about identification or verification of an individual with certainty, it matters.

Palm Print, Appendix F Certified

  • L Scan 500 — leading compact palm print acquisition at 500 ppi resolution.
  • L Scan 1000 — enhanced 1000 ppi resolution, providing unrivaled image quality and minutiae detail.

Tenprint, Appendix F Certified

  • Guardian — providing performance, reliability and flexibility. Offered in a range of models to meet specific application requirements.
  • Patrol ID — certified tenprint acquisition without sacrificing image quality. Quickly captures ID flats for background checks and identity validation programs.
  • Nomad — ideal for applications requiring fully certified collection of four fingers simultaneously, such as ID flats and rolls, in a mobile or highly portable use case.

Two Finger, PIV Certified

  • Nomad USB Reader — extremely low profile, portable capacitive TFT reader for FAP 45 two fingerprint and rolled fingerprint capture.
  • EF200 — compact, portable LES TFT reader for FAP 45 two fingerprint and rolled fingerprint capture.

Single Finger, PIV Certified

  • DigitalPersona U.are.U 5300 — optical reader that meets both FBI PIV and Mobile ID FAP 30 standards.
  • EikonTouch 710 — FBI PIV certified single finger reader. Ideal for multi-user applications.

Single Finger, Not Certified

  • DigitalPersona U.are.U 4500 — easy to use optical reader well suited for dry, moist or rough fingerprints.
  • EikonTouch 510 — silicon reader with durable SteelCoat protective coating for enhanced performance in harsh environments.

Have More Questions?

Comment below or send us a message with any questions or suggestions for future posts. We would love to hear from you and demystify the world of biometrics and identity management. In the meantime, you might find this whitepaper of interest.

As marketing lead for Crossmatch, John is actively involved in championing identity management and biometrics technology solutions. His involvement and fascination with leveraging technology to address unique business challenges began earlier in his career, as Product Manager for GE’s Imagination Breakthrough innovation, VeriWise, a satellite-based asset intelligence and tracking solution for the transportation industry. He later went on to run sales and marketing for Vectronix, Inc., a subsidiary of a Switzerland-based producer of electro-optic and north-finding devices for military and law enforcement applications. John currently serves on the Board of the International Biometrics & Identity Association (IBIA).

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