Fingerprinting from a distance

Fingerprinting from a distance

Gone are the days where fingerprints would captured with ink and paper. Most fingerprints today are recorded digitally with a scanning device as fingertips are pressed against a glass surface. It's better than inkpads, to be sure, but it can still be a time-consuming and unhygienic process.

Law enforcement officials across the country have been exploring new methods of capturing fingerprints through readers that do not come in contact with a person’s hand. To support those efforts, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is  developing ways to measure the image fidelity of "contactless" fingerprinting through its Contactless Fingerprint Capture Device Measurement Research Program.

Hoyos Labs recently submitted its contactless mobile biometric application, known as 4F, for blind pilot testing to the program through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement.

Hoyos Labs states that its 4F application captures the images of every fingerprint except the thumb simultaneously, using a high-resolution camera and flash lighting to produce images with the detail required to meet the FBI’s 2D image quality standards.

Hoyos Labs joins NIST’s other CRADA partners, including 3M Company and MorphoTrack, in contributing its touchless fingerprint acquisition technology to the NIST program to help ensure the performance metrics emerging from the collaboration will be suitable for a broad range of devices.

“Our participation in NIST’s research program is mutually beneficial,” Hector Hoyos, the founder and CEO of Hoyos Labs, said. “Not only are we playing a critical role in building a worldwide standard for testing contactless fingerprint scanners, but NIST researchers are also providing us with new scenarios that we have been previously unable to test using human subjects -- to help us better understand any limitations to our product and make the necessary improvements.”

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.


  • business meeting (Monkey Business Images/

    Civic tech volunteers help states with legacy systems

    As COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in state and local government IT systems, the newly formed U.S. Digital Response stepped in to help. Its successes offer insight into existing barriers and the future of the civic tech movement.

  • data analytics (

    More visible data helps drive DOD decision-making

    CDOs in the Defense Department are opening up their data to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that help surface insights and improve decision-making.

Stay Connected