Fingerprint identification is based on the anatomical truth that no two fingerprints are identical. Each person's fingerprint has unique prominent features called arches, loops, and whorls. These characteristic fingerprint curves are the most common types of fingerprint patterns.

Though these fingerprint characteristics are distinct, without the aid of scanners, the cable of reading detailed features, identification would be problematic. For example, if the sample print impression is smudged, dirty, or distorted proper identification of the print's pattern may be compromised. In this case, making an accurate assessment based on fingerprint identification is unreliable.

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Today, with the introduction of sophisticated biometric scanners, verification of anyone's fingerprint can be done accurately by looking at minutiae details and variations within the larger characteristics of a print's arches, loops, and whorls. When a fingerprint is scanned using a biometric device, the sample data is interpreted as various shades of gray patterns. Each gray pixel is designated a specific numerical value.

The gray-scale pattern created is processed by a complex biometric security program. A mathematical algorithm examines places of light and dark points of the fingerprint sample data acquired. This analysis will determine whether the fingerprint ridges are divided or ended. The biometric program is designed to analyze these minute ridge splits and endings, ascertaining their positions relative to the core of the print as compared to another.

In addition, the system also analyzes and compares the angle of ridges of sample print data. These anatomically specific relationships imaged will remain unaltered even if the fingerprint data is smudged, dirty or even distorted. Thus, a biometric system can accurately determine the identification of one fingerprint as compared to another fingerprint.