IDEX reveals contactless fingerprint sensor card
12 October 2017 16:47 GMT

Norwegian biometrics firm IDEX has showcased a low power fingerprint sensor suitable for all contactless cards applicationsoperating with standard NFC terminals.

IDEX has said the card is specifically designed for contactless biometric card applications, and uses a flexible sensor based on patented IDEX technology.

The firm says it has now "been actively demonstrating this solution to leading card integrators and partners with excellent feedback". IDEX will also showcase the solution to the wider industry at Money20/20 in Las Vegas later in October.

"A fundamental challenge with biometric cards is that they cannot easily contain an internal power source and card manufacturers don't want to use batteries because they are costly and difficult to maintain. This means that biometric cards must be powered by the card reader, either using direct contact or by collecting electrical power from a contactless radio field. The limited power in both of these methods puts extremely tight constraints on the biometric solution including the sensor'", says Dr Hemant Mardia, CEO of IDEX. 'However, I'm very pleased to say that we at IDEX can now offer a biometric card system that works well for both contact and contact-less applications using existing card terminals.

"Idex's fingerprint sensor systems have been developed with several major ecosystem partners to meet the rapid growth in demand for more secure payment mechanisms".

The company said there are several key elements to IDEX's sensors which solve card specific challenges:

IDEX sensor images are large enough (over 80 square mm) to capture the larger image of the fingerprint needed for the constrained card system.

The sensor's size enables ultra-compact matching algorithms to be tuned optimally for low cost and low power memory constrained microprocessors that are essential for contactless applications.

The system meets the low power requirements of a standard contactless card use, consuming less than 25 mW of power to capture the image. This has been achieved with a custom-designed sensing ASIC with a footprint 1/8 of the size of equivalent silicon sensors.

The ASIC has on-board digital intelligence that supports both securely encrypted communication and advanced power management within the sensor.