The idea of description (reconstruction) of fingerprints with mathematical algorithms and history of the development of this idea at Optel

Published in May 2003


Before I start with the description of the idea, I must tell the story, that began about 10 years ago. This explains much. It is very difficult for me to tell, if 10 years ago, somebody else has already had the idea, that it would be possible to make a full mathematical description of fingerprints. In this time I have found no paper, describing such idea. During this time Optel worked mainly on the project, having the goal of creating a device, that would be able to recognize people measuring their fingers with the help of acoustical holography. We have already created first working prototypes of such devices and spend many days on discussions how to find a best way to compare the results and recognize fingerprints. We have studied papers, already published and discussed our ideas with a specialist, working since some years at the fingerprint recognition department of the local police, that was a member of our team during this time. We have also tried to create our own software for fingerprint recognition, that have mostly used classical approach (based on methods, proposed in this time). I suppose, that during this years many teams in the whole world have worked on such software. Our team was probably not much more skilled, than other teams, but there was one large difference: Nobody else in the world have tried to use acoustical holography for measurement of fingerprints. And although the picture of fingerprint obtained by this method is not significantly different, than picture, obtained by other methods (optical, capacitive chips, etc.), the first step - the information, that is directly "seen" by such device is significantly different. It is a hologram, that can be presented in the form of Fourier transform or pulse answer. And because we have used waves with the length, corresponding to the distance between the ridges of fingerprints, the structure of such pulse answer has some similarity to fingerprint itself. This is especially good to see on the following picture: