The challenge of small sensors and secure fingerprint solutions – Interview with Rutger Petersson, R&D Director

“The biggest and perhaps most exciting development for the company is the market trend towards smaller and smaller fingerprint sensors and tougher demands for biometric performance,” says Rutger Petersson, R&D Director at Precise Biometrics. He has been working with technical development at the company since 2007.

“Customers demand cost-efficiency and the smaller the sensors, the lower the costs of silicon, which is used in most so-called capacitive sensors. This is important not least for manufacturers of mobile devices in the low- and mid-range segment, where the use of fingerprint technology will be further increasing in the future”, says Rutger Peterson.

Rutger Petersson emphasizes the company’s focus on developing algorithm solutions that can handle even smaller sensors without losing performance.

“The challenge is increasing to be able to quickly extract all the unique properties from an increasingly small part of the finger without any vital information being lost. This is where our light, but powerful patented algorithm solutions are ideal.”

Precise Biometrics’ algorithm solutions have been developed to achieve fast, secure matching under the toughest conditions in the market: a small sensor, a chip with limited memory and a microprocessor with a low clock speed. Products such as payment cards, wearables and other IoT products have such limitations. An average smartphone, for example, has about ten thousand times more memory and a processor that is ten times faster than a payment card.

“The highest possible security on a restricted platform is necessary for secure payment solutions”. Through the partnership with the security company Oberthur Technologies in 2016, Precise Biometrics is delivering algorithm solutions for a Secure Element, a limited but secure platform for the algorithm to operate in, on a payment card for example. It is expected that the market for fingerprint recognition on payment cards in particular will increase rapidly in the years ahead.

Through acquisition of NexID Biometrics, the company can offer additional security through liveness detection. “It’s my objective to put together a fingerprint solution with built-in support for anti-spoofing that provides a good user experience. This is particularly important when it comes to financial transactions involving larger amounts, or handling sensitive information in a secure manner.

Another trend is the increase in new sensor technologies in the market. Especially ultrasound sensors and optical sensors. As our algorithm solutions can deal with all kinds of sensors on the market, we’re ready for this development.”

As the market grows, so has the need for adaptations in the form of optimizations for customer-specific sensors. Precise Biometrics has focused on improving its ability to perform customer adaptations in parallel with its product development to help customers improve the biometric performance of their solutions and to get to the market more quickly. “All of this means that we have a positive view of our future development”, says Rutger Petersson.

This is a summary of the article “We develop products for growth – Interview with Rutger Petersson, R&D Director” in Precise Biometrics annual report, read the whole interview here.