Project Objectives

For over ten years, the use of fingerprints has been a key policy technology to help address both identification and security issues around the world. Unfortunately, the overall success of fingerprints for identification and verification purposes greatly depends on the quality of the fingerprints initially enrolled and acquired.

The objective of INGRESS is to research, develop and validate innovative technologies to take fingerprint images by looking at additional biometrics associated with the finger. The project will pave the way to the manufacturing of innovative fingerprint scanners capable of properly sensing fingerprints of intrinsic very-low quality and/or characterized by superficial skin disorders.

The project focuses on capturing sub-surface fingerprint and delivering a high-quality image. The technology stream of the project focuses on medical imaging technique, such as ultrasound and Full Field Optical Coherence Tomography (FFOCT), to acquire the fingerprint matrix in the dermis.

Furthermore, INGRESS studies the use of Printed Organic Electronics (POE) technologies and components, such as the passive matrix of Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) and Organic Photo Diodes (OPDs) to create a new generation of high resolution and mobile fingerprint sensors.

As a side effect of looking beyond the finger surface, the new scanners will be able to better detect voluntary finger alterations (e.g. skin switching or transplantation), which are a critical issue in border control scenario, where several cases of illegal immigrants altering their fingers have been reported. Moreover, these technologies will overcome involuntary alterations and allow giving an equal access to the biometric technology for all citizens.

INGRESS’ mock-ups will be evaluated in laboratory to compare them with legacy sensors. Tests in the field will assess the technology performance, the usability and user acceptance of the solution. INGRESS will use both standard approaches and novel metrics to evaluate the operational quality of fingerprint scanners.

In parallel of the technology stream, the project will investigate the potential ethical, legal and societal issues for these novel technologies. The R&D process will integrate, all along the project, the results from this investigation, to guarantee that all end-products will be fully compatible/compliant with current trends in European and international privacy and data protection standards, following the internationally-endorsed foundational principles of Privacy by Design.

INGRESS will both validate the developed technologies and propose a technology development roadmap for the purpose of using fingerprints from identity documents in border control and law enforcement applications.