Flexible organic electronics company FlexEnable and photodetectors firm ISORG have collaborated to create a flexible fingerprint sensor with a 500 dots per inch (dpi) image resolution, the companies have revealed in a statement.
Uniquely, tt can be curved and applied to almost any surface, unlike traditional fingerprint sensors that have form factor constraints due to the use of glass.
The companies said that the flexible fingerprint sensor can be deployed in products including fingerprint scanners, smartcards, mobile phones and wearables.
FlexEnable and ISORG have collaborated with biometrics firm Green Bit to show that their flexible fingerprint sensor technology is ready for integration into products. The sensor has been paired with Green Bit’s image enhancement software to prove its ability to create FBI-certifiable images.
According to the manufacturers that have worked on the project, the high resolution of the flexible sensor has been enabled by FlexEnable’s organic thin-film transistors that boast better electrical performance than amorphous silicon and very low-leakage.
ISORG supplies the photodiodes able to capture the finger print and has developed all the reading electronics and the related algorithms.
The 500 dpi flexible fingerprint sensor is only 0.3 mm thick, the sensor can capture veins, providing a second level of security since each user’s finger vein pattern is unique and requires the user to be alive for positive detection.
The technology enables large area sensors that can detect five fingers allowing more information to be collected, bringing additional security benefits. The large area sensor can unlock new applications such as wrap-around fingerprint sensors for mobile phones or car steering wheels.
Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, said: “The development of a 500 dpi plastic fingerprint sensor represents a major breakthrough in the commercialisation of flexible fingerprint sensors, paving the way for FBI-certification of low cost and flexible fingerprint sensors over large areas. This will open the door to a wider range of applications including law enforcement, border control and high-security banking transactions. We are working with the whole supply chain to get this disruptive technology into products and welcome customers who are interested in integrating the sensor into their applications. “
Jean-Yves Gomez, CEO of ISORG, said: “This innovation brings a step change in biometrics. It not only offers a single solution for multiple fingerprint capture and vein pattern recognition, but also addresses form-factor and ergonomic challenges. Our development tools will help our customers to cut their product time to market and minimise R&D costs. We are enabling a new generation of biometric fingerprint sensors with multiple usage.”
Sergio Rainero, COO of Green Bit S.p.A, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with FlexEnable and ISORG on this groundbreaking and innovative flexible sensor technology. By combining its cutting-edge features with Green Bit’s 20 years’ experience in image processing and enhancement, we will be in a leading position to create a new generation of fingerprint scanners. This will enable Green Bit to target applications and solutions that aren’t possible with traditional technologies.”