Fingerprint imaging technology is the process of electronically capturing and enhancing the unique pattern of ridges and minutiae within a fingerprint image. The fingerprint image is captured by using an optical, pressure, or capacitive scanner. An optical scanner captures the fingerprint image by using light to illuminate the fingerprint ridges placed on a glass surface and records the reflection of this light. In order to ensure that the performance of the system will be robust, with respect to the quality of the fingerprint images, it is essential to incorporate a fingerprint enhancement algorithm to filter out image noise and reliably extract ridge and minutiae from the fingerprint image.
Image noise is any condition that prohibits the accurate extraction of ridge and minutiae from the fingerprint image. This noise can come from many conditions, like having dry or wet fingerprints as an example. Dry fingerprints are from the insufficient natural moisture in the skin causing the fingerprint image to appear broken or incomplete. Wet fingerprints are from the excessive moisture in the skin causing the fingerprint image features to blend together. Figure shows an example of a dry and wet fingerprint compared to a normal fingerprint.
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