Fingerprint scanners electronically capture the unique characteristics of the ridges and valleys on the human finger prints and digitally store this information in the form of an encrypted biometric key or binary representation. They capture, analyze and compare scanned fingerprint images against a database of pre-scanned digital images, then execute a command based on whether or not a match was found.
Fingerprint scanners can either be used to determine the identity of an individual or to verify the identity of an individual. They combine the use of pressure analysis, heat emission analysis and visible light analysis to authenticate the ridges and bifurcations of the finger.
The use of fingerprint scanners and other biometric verification systems in public and cooperate security systems is increasingly becoming popular. They can also be found on personal devices such as smartphones and laptops. The unique biological characteristics captured by the systems cannot be reverse-engineered, copied or stolen.
Fingerprints that were obtained via the traditional ink-and-paper imaging can be scanned and digitally stored. Aside from security, fingerprint scanners are highly favored because of their convenience. Other biometric identification schemes include facial structure and characteristics, hand geometry, the capillary vessels of the retina, vein patterns, and vocal tone and pitch.