Indian-American scientist Anil Jain on 6 March 2014 developed the first 3D model of a human fingerprint called Phantom.The development could boost the accuracy of fingerprint-matching systems and improve security technology. The team of computer scientists led by Arun Jain at Michigan State University developed the 3D image by first making a two-dimensional image of a fingerprint and then mapping it to a 3D finger surface. The 3D finger surface complete with all the ridges and valleys that make up the human fingerprint, is made using a 3D printer. Although the 3-D model does not yet have the exact texture or feel of a real finger. However, it could advance fingerprint sensing and matching technology.
The ultimate goal is to have a precise fingerprint model with known properties and features that can be used to calibrate existing technology used to match fingerprints. Tools like this would help improve the overall accuracy of fingerprint-matching systems, which eventually leads to better security in applications ranging from law enforcement to mobile phone unlock.
Anil Jain is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and at present is the lead computer scientist & Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University. He has six US patents on fingerprint matching and has written a number of books on biometrics and fingerprint/facial recognition.