The FBI was looking for a smaller device to capture fingerprint images for its Hostage Rescue Team. In the past the team had to haul around a 20-pund rugged laptop plus the fingerprint scanner.
The agency went to the National Institute of Standards and Technology to solve the problem. Agency official came up with a solution that was able to scan fingerprints on a handheld devices with a touch screen about the size of a playing card. The tool could take pictures of fingerprints or faces and send the data wirelessly to a central hub for analysis with a minimum of touch strokes.
But the NIST researchers took it a step further and scaled the system to work on a touch screen for smart phones. Researchers have been working with other security agencies on the program so it can be fitted to their needs
For more information about NIST’s mobile ID research, click here.