iFMID is an iPad-iPhone Fingerprint Mobile Identification Device (and now for Xoom tablet as well)
It is a mobile biometric and identification hardware and software solution used to access confidential and / or encrypted data. Some versions of iFMID can be used by law forces to identify people anytime, anywhere; when necessary (at frontiers, wanted people, etc.).
It eliminates the need for passwords; hence, it improves Identity Authentication Management efficiency and recurring costs.
It is a secure solution for real-time Mobile Identification and / or Authentication.
How does it work?
Here’s an overview of the Mobile Fingerprint Biometric Authentication Process Architecture.
It is quite important to understand that iFMID generates two types of files. The specific file type used will be chosen by the client according to his needs and can vary depending on the fingerprint sensor model and the software components.
1- Template files : the template is an encrypted data file made of 80 data points (Minutiae) mapped from the fingerprint. The template can be created to be compatible with other systems or be created in a format specific to a system or even a person.
2- Image files : the image is created by a high-resolution scan of the fingerprint and converted by the iFMID processor into a digital file that can be displayed or not and be used for matching on remote systems based on image files.
N.B. In order to respect the privacy of users and also because of superior validation performances, commercial systems only use template files.
It’s a 2 step process – The Enrollment and The Validation
The Enrollment: Creating a fingerprint data file for the Validation process
- The user starts the S.I.C. SimpleTouch software on Smartphones or Tablets (iPad, iPhone, Xoom)
- The App prompts to scan the user’s finger.
- The user puts their finger on the scanner (many scans per finger to create a high quality file)
- iFMID reads and converts the captured fingerprint into a data file (Template or Image)
- The data files are then stored locally on the iFMID, on a remote server or a smart card
The Validation: Using a fingerprint to authenticate a person’s identity
- The user starts the App SimpleTouch on Smartphones or Tablets (iPad, iPhone, Xoom)
- The App prompts to scan the user’s finger.
- The user puts an enrolled finger on the scanner
- The iFMID creates a temporary data file and the matching is then done locally in the iFMID chip or through a remote server, depending on the specific system configuration
- Once the matching is positive the user’s identity is displayed on the screen or transmitted to another process for a second operation. ie: login to an application.
What type of fingerprint sensor does iFMID use?
iFMID uses a capacitive fingerprint sensor. Through the use of very low electrical current it generates an image of the ridges in contact with the sensor surface that make up a fingerprint. The main advantage of a capacitive sensor is that it requires a real fingerprint-type shape, rather than the pattern of light and dark that makes up the visual impression of a fingerprint.
S.I.C offers two models of sensor:
The industrial model exhibits a black metallic surface and can only generate template files.
The institutional model with a yellow surface can generate both template and image files. This model is mostly used by governmental agencies for criminal usages and it is compliant with governmental standards.
N.B. According to software configuration, you can also use the yellow surface sensor model so that they don’t generate image files.
What certification does the sensor have?
The sensor model generating image files is FIPS-201 certified and the FBI has certified that this sensor meets specifications listed in the FBI’s IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems) image quality specifications. It is designed and capable to be used with PIV and CAC programs, also known as “Personal Identify Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors,” as mandated by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12).
Where does the fingerprint data files reside?
Depending on your needs and requirements, the fingerprint data files can be saved remotely on a secure server, locally encrypted on the iFMID chip or on a secure Smart Card chip.
They could also be saved on your iPhone, iPad or Xoom; if necessary.
What is the quality of image that can be sent from the iFMID?
The iFMID generates a high resolution image file of 508DPI, which is a higher standard than required by the FBI protocol of 500DPI.
What types of fingerprint data do you use for fingerprint validation?
We use two types of data files: the fingerprint TEMPLATE or the fingerprint IMAGE
The fingerprint TEMPLATE is a small encrypted file (400 bits) created from data points (Minutiae) that are mapped from the fingerprint scan.
The IMAGE file is much larger (92 000 bits) and it is sent to a remote server for matching.
N.B. A Template file has nothing to do with an Image file. It is impossible to create an image file from a template file which is 230 times smaller.
What type of fingerprint data file do you suggest for commercial use?
We suggest the TEMPLATE file type because of the privacy concerns related to scanning an image of the actual fingerprint and also because of the superior speed of the authentication matching process involved.
Does the iFMID consume power from the Mobile device?
No, it does not.
The iFMID readers have their own rechargeable battery.
The iFMID can also recharge itself at the same time that the Apple device is charging with the power supply unit provided with the iFMID.
How long does the iFMID battery last?
You will be able to scan at least 1,000 fingers before charging the iFMID. However, some iFMID battery energy is consumed when your device screen is on. The iFMID battery can last 20 hours with the device display screen on.
Is the casing drop resistant?
The iFMID full casing product will help to protect your Apple (Android) device if you drop it on the ground, but it is not a military grade product.
What are the security layers used to protect the data and the communication between the hardware and the remote servers?
There are 3 secure layers of communication in the system.
1.The communication between the application and the hardware:
- The communication is initiated after the hardware authentication. The data travelling on the Apple device USB port is encrypted in both directions by state-of-the-art methods
2. The communication between the chips of the hardware:
- Each chip has its own encryption method and the main chip that S.I.C. built the program into manages the data conversion between the chips and the Apple device includes AES 128 bit processes compliant FIPS 197 and 46-3
3. The communication between the application, the remote servers and the Cloud:
- All communications between remote servers and the Mobile device are secured by a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) process.
N.B. Additional security layers can be added to respond to your requirements.
How many fingerprint data files can be stored on a database?
There is no limit if stored on a remote sever.
For local matching on the iFMID, it is possible to store up to 60 templates.
Also 1to1 matching process can use the memory of the Mobile device to allow storage of an additional 1 Million templates.
Does S.I.C. manufacture only devices with integrated fingerprint reader module?
No, the iFMID series also comprises complementary technologies such as 1D and 2D barcodes, contact Smart Card reading and RFID Smart Card or Token reading technologies. It is also possible to add other technologies meeting your needs for special projects.
Who are the typical users?
Any organisation or anybody looking for a fast, user-friendly and secure Mobile Identification Solution.
Government staff accessing Government systems, SAP users, Doctors and Health staff, Law enforcement officers.
How long does it take to validate a fingerprint?
If Template data files are stored locally, it will take 1sec.
If stored on a remote server and access through Wi-Fi network, it will take up to 2 sec.
If used on a good 3G wireless networks, it will take up to 3 seconds.
Is there a System Development Kit (SDK) available for the iFMID?
Yes and it is available to selected partners and clients.
Where can I purchase the iFMID or get more information?
Contact S.I.C. Biometrics Toll free in Canada and the USA : 1.866.499.8377. In Europe : +33 (0)1 44 54 34 34. By email :