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The attractiveness of fingerprints results from their uniqueness which does not change through the life of individuals. Within the past few years the increasing demand of security and safety has led to large scale application and deployment of automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS). New laws and regulations (US-VISIT, EU-VIS) have been introduced. These new rules require the reading of all ten fingerprints instead of one or two. The motivation is the dramatic improvement of the false accept and false reject rates if more than one finger is used to reference an individual. These policies raise the problem that using market standard (single-) fingerprint readers would absolutely be not sufficient in terms of the amount of time needed for the enrollment process and the convenience of both, visitors and customs officials. To address this problem, ten-fingerprint scanners capable of recording multiple fingers at the same time, are deployed. Most of these scanners capture so called “slap images” which are “four-finger simultaneous plain impressions”. This type of images makes it necessary to separate the biometrical interesting fingertips out of the rest of the so called “slap image”. The whole process where the slap image is divided up into four images of the fingertips is called “slap fingerprint segmentation“.
The prototype which evolved from this project was ported and integrated into the final “Siemens Homeland Security Suite” product. Furthermore the algorithm was protected by a patent specification in 2009 at the European Patent Office. Moreover the method was presented at the CVWW 2009 (Computer Vision Winter Workshop) and published in its proceedings.

Examples: (Please click on the image…)
Different slap-images with automatically segmented fingertips (dark blue boxes).

Slap image with segmenation result


  • Port and integration of the algorithm into the Siemens Homeland Security Suite
  • Publication in the proceedings of the CVWW 2009
  • Patent specification granted by the European Patent Office (Patent Nr: EP 2131307 A1).

Publication in the proceedings of the CVWW 2009:
This paper contains an in-depth description of the algorithm as well as a detailled discussion of the evaluation results.
Robert_Hoedl_2009_CVWW09_Slap_Fingerprint_Segmentation.pdf  [.PDF | 968 K]

Poster CVWW 2009:
Robert_Hoedl_2009_CVWW09_Poster.pdf  [.PDF | 238 K]

European patent specification:
EP2131307_patent.pdf  [.PDF | 174 K]

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