The job of a fingerprint scanner is very simple; capture a good quality fingerprint image and pass it on to the software. If the image is not that great then the software using this image will not be able to process it, no matter how good the software is. Hence selecting the right fingerprint scanner for your project is critical
How do you select the best fingerprint scanner? This is the most common question we get.
There are few things that need to be considered before selecting a fingerprint scanner:
1. What is the Operating System of the Computer to which the fingerprint scanner will be used on?
Most USB based fingerprint scanners work on Windows Operating System. Some fingerprint scanners work on Linux,few work on Android & Mac.
Here is a list of fingerprint scanners that work on different Operating System:
Fingerprint Scanner Windows:
Fingerprint Scanner Linux:
Lumidigm Mercury (M30x), Lumidigm Venus (V30x) , Secugen Hamster Plus, Secugen Hamster IV, Suprema Biomini
Fingerprint Scanner Android:
Secugen Hamster Plus, Secugen Hamster IV, Suprema Biomini
2. Which fingerprint software is being used for the project?
USB Fingerprint scanners need to work with a software. They cannot operate on their own. If you are a software developer and trying to integrate fingerprint recognition in your application then you will need a fingerprint SDK. Fingerprint API/SDK (Software development Kit) allows you to integrate fingerprint matching in your application.
If you are an end user then you would need a 3rd party software that meets your needs. Some examples of these software could be – Logon to PC, Windows Active Directory Based Logon using fingerprints, Fingerprint based Single Sign On, Fingerprint Attendance Software etc.
Once you have identified which fingerprint Software or fingerprint SDK you will be using, it is important to check with the fingerprint software vendor which fingerprint scanners are supported by their software. They usually have a list of supported scanners. Alternatively, you can even ask us and we will help you with the same.
3. What kind of people will be using the system?
What is the age group of people whose fingerprints will be registered?
Some scanners work very well for fingerprints of kids and older citizens.
What kind of work they do?
Are the fingerprint scanners being used by office workers or will they be used by people who do manual labor as well? People who do manual labor usually have a bit of damaged fingerprints and require a higher end scanner.People doing office work do not have challenging fingerprints.
What is the environment? Is it dusty? Is it being used semi outdoors? What kind of fingerprints do users have? Too dry, too moist, dirty?
Some fingerprint scanners like Lumidigm Venus V30x capture fingerprints by capturing data from below the skin. Hence they works very well on damaged fingerprints
Based on our experience,here are scanners that work very well in different environment :
Secugen Hamster Plus, Secugen Hamster IV
Lumidigm Venus (Lumidigm V30X) fingerprint Scanner, Lumidigm Mercury (M30X)
Lumidigm Venus (Lumidigm V30X), Lumidigm Mercury (M30X), Digital Persona URU 4500 fingerprint scanner
4. Does the scanner require to have any special certifications or features?
Many Government projects require scanners to be FBI certify or FIPS/201 certify. While having these certifications does not mean that it is a superior scanner. This might be a requirement put as part of the project.
Secugen Hamster IV is FBI/PIV certified fingerprint device
5. Do you need spoof detection?
Another common requirement is Spoof detection, also known as liveness detection. If your project will have someone managing the users when they place their fingerprints then you might not need spoof detection.
Lumidigm Venus Sensor has one of the best Spoof Detection.
6. What is your budget?
The final consideration, even though this is last on my list, most people tend to make this the most important aspect and hence many Biometric projects fail. Cost of the fingerprint scanner. It is important for the fingerprint scanner to meet the project and environment requirements. If the scanner is within your budget but fails to meet the other requirements mentioned above then the project is bound to fail..
I usually divide single finger scanners in 3 price ranges:
Secugen Hamster Plus, Secugen Hamster IV, Suprema Biomini, Nitgen Fingkey Hamster
Between $100 to $400:
Lumidigm Mercury, Lumidigm Mariner
Lumidigm Venus, Lumidigm Voyager, Crossmatch Verifier 300 fingerprint reader
I hope the above pointers will help you in selecting the best fingerprint scanner for your project.
Did I miss anything that is important to consider in order to select the right fingerprint scanner?