Organic electronics firm Flexenable plans to showcase a 500 dpi flexible fingerprint sensor in a smart card form factor at an upcoming trade show.
The firm says that with biometric authentication becoming increasingly important for the smartcard industry, flexible fingerprint sensors open up new opportunities.
Particularly in banking, using the cardholder’s fingerprint instead of or in addition to an entry pin is one of the emerging trends to improve security. This requires the integration of ultra-thin, robust and flexible sensors into payment cards.
The 500 dpi flexible optical fingerprint sensor uses high performance organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) on low cost plastics.
The firm says it is the only flexible sensor technology that has achieved such high resolution. The sensor has been developed in collaboration with Grenoble-based ISORG who supplies the organic photodiodes able to capture the fingerprint, and has provided all the reading electronics and the related algorithms. The flexible fingerprint sensor can be paired with any end-user software to create an authentication device with low false acceptance and rejection rates.
As it is made of organic electronics on a plastic sheet, the 500 dpi flexible fingerprint sensor is only 0.3 mm thick, which is less than half the thickness of a smartcard (0.76 mm). This brings design and functional benefits to smartcards. As well as detecting fingerprints, 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.
Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, said: “The flexible fingerprint sensor has been developed with several fast expanding markets in mind. The unique features of the sensor such as its thinness, lightness and robustness make it suitable for smartcard applications, including banking, security and healthcare. We welcome collaboration with smartcard manufacturers, software developers and product designers interested in integrating this cutting-edge flexible fingerprint sensor technology into smartcards.”