Biometric Scanner

Biometric Scanner

What Is A Biometric Scanner

Biometric scanner is a device that identifies people based on their fingerprint, retina, voice, or hand. So there are different types of biometric scanners depending on the method they are using to detect the identity.

On a basic level, a biometric scanner identifies the input sample by comparing it to the existing templates in the database. Every user that can access the system should have an entry in the database, containing his/her name, username and input sample. During the test, the acquired biometric information is compared against the stored information. Obviously, the main threat for any biometric system is compromising the database storing all the entries. If a hacker gains access to it, he can manipulate the entries, create or delete accounts, so that even an un-authorized person can gain access to the area or data protected by the biometric scanner. So the storage must be secure and robust.

A biometric sensor consists of several blocks. The first one is in direct contact with the surroundings and the real world, it acts like a buffer between the system and the outside world, acquiring all the necessary data. Most of the time, this first block acts as an image acquisition system, but that can change depending on the characteristics desired. The second block makes the required data pre-processing, by removing artifacts from the sensor (background noise). The third block extracts just the needed features of the input sample, which is perhaps the most important phase, since only the correct features must be extracted. Once the template is created, it is compared with those stored in the database for a possible match. The template is a sum of all the characteristics extracted from the source, in the optimal size to allow for adequate identifiability.

As with almost every discovery or something new that has recently been introduced to the general public, there are some concerns surrounding the use of biometric scanners. The first one addresses the private aspect of our lives, since a fingerprint for example, doesn't change, ever. So if your fingerprint get stolen, it can cause serious damage to everything that it's used to protect. The big problem is having live biometric data, which is always a possibility. You might find it hard to believe, but fact is that in the popular show MythBusters, the fingerprint sensors of a commercial security door were fooled by using a printed scan of a fingerprint after it had been licked.

5120C is a Sheet-Fed Scanner from Fujitsu. A PDF datasheet regarding this model is available for download on the Internet. Solutions vary, but handheld devices are charged with batteries, which could be a drawback.

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