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NEC has developed fingerprint sensors for newborns and infants

By Bryan Chan & Liu Hongzuo - on 1 Nov 2016, 2:00pm

NEC has developed fingerprint sensors for newborns and infants

NEC Corporation successfully developed a prototype sensing device that can capture fingerprint images of newborns and infants. The device is a portable, lightweight, and easy solution for accurate capturing of infant fingerprints.

Previously, it was challenging for a newborn’s prints to be captured by traditional fingerprint sensing devices – the typical capturing sensors are too large to work effectively on children with smaller, delicate fingers, and prints captured are not of great quality, neither are they useful.

NEC’s prototype was researched and developed in conjunction with Michigan State University, and the prototypes were field-tested in Dayalbagh, India. The fingerprint capturing device managed to record fingerprint images of over 300 children, with over 100 from infants younger than six months. One infant was as young as six hours old.

The device itself uses a high-resolution CMOS image sensor with 1,270 PPI (pixels per inch), backed by bundled fiberglass for image enhancement. It weighs 50g, and it is small in size – at just 72 x 35 x 7.5mm. A print can be captured in seconds once the infant’s finger is placed against the sensor. An image preview will then be shown on a separate portable device, where the supervising person can then save the captured image.

“The provision of these technologies based on this prototype will allow NEC to contribute to the solution of important social problems, such as the optimized management of immunization and food supplies, and the reliable management of birth certification, by ensuring precise verification of the identity of newborns and infants through fingerprint authentication,” said Ryoji Hayashi, General Manager, 2nd Government and Public Solutions Division, NEC Corporation.

Michigan State University and NEC Corporation have regular tie-ups, revolving around biometric recognition technology, pattern recognition, as well as facial recognition systems. Previously, they worked together on creating a large-scale search system that uses facial recognition technology, and images of faces on social media to identify unknown criminals.