Johannes Kotzerke1 , Stephen A. Davis1, Jodie McVernon2, Kathy J. Horadam1 . Steps to solving the infant biometric problem with ridge-based biometrics. (February 2018) IET Biometrics. doi: 10.1049/iet-bmt.2017.0282.
The pressing infant biometric problem is to find a biometric means to identify infants cheaply, reliably, and automatically. Physical traits of infants are tiny, delicate, and grow rapidly. The authors focus on a novel area of friction-ridgeskin as a potential answer: the ball under the big toe. The ball print is readily accessible, with more features and larger ridges than a fingerprint. The authors followed 54 newborns for 2 years, capturing their ball prints with an adult fingerprint scanner within 3 days of birth, at 2 months, at 6 months, and at 2 years. The authors show the growth of the ball print is isotropic rather than affine during infancy. The isotropic growth rate from birth can be measured by the change in inter-ridge spacing, which the authors show precisely mirrors change in physical length from birth, as recorded by World Health Organisation for large, diverse infant populations. From 2 months of age, by using isotropic scaling to compensate for growth, the authors successfully matched good quality images with 0% equal error rate using existing adult fingerprint technology, even for captures 22 months apart. These findings flag the value of ball prints as a practical means of infant identification, by themselves, or together or sequentially with other biometrics.
1 School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
2 The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, The University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia .