Fingerprint Empreinte digitale

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Fingerprint, empreinte digitale (français), impressão digital (portugais), fingerprint (anglais), huella dactilar o huellas digitales (espagnol), linii papilarnych (polonais), impronte digitali (italien), Fingerabdrück (allemand), 지문 (coréen), 指纹 (chinois), отпечаток пальца (russe), 指紋 (japonais), fingeravtrykk (norvegien), fingeravtryck (suédois), ...

Basically, a fingerprint is a mark left on a surface by a person's fingertip. We call it also the latent print, because we use also the same word fingerprint to designate directly the marks seen on fingers, toes, palms... So you should also take a look at:

As a start, you will find the definition of a fingerprint with minutiae, some facts about fingerprints such as people that have no fingerprint.


The Fingerprint Sourcebook from the National Institute of Justice (400+ pages!) will give you many useful and valuable information about history, anatomy, embryology... and also latent prints, the main focus of this book. Great job guys ! And it is available online (local copy for the records).

Fingerprint sensing techniques

Many sensing techniques to capture fingerprint have been developed. See the fingerprint sensors page to get more information about live fingerprint sensors, as well as links to sensor manufacturers.
De nombreuses techniques de capture d'empreintes ont été développées. Voir la page sur les capteurs d'empreintes digitales pour plus d'information sur les captures directes (live) à partir du doigt, ainsi que des liens vers les fabriquants de capteurs.

Image from 50 years of biometric research: Accomplishments, challenges, and opportunities
Anil K. Jain, Karthik Nandakumar, Arun Ross / Jan 2016.

Fingerprint recognition

Many algorithms for fingerprint recognition have been developed. See the fingerprint algorithms page to get more information, as well as algorithm makers.
De nombreux algorithmes ont été développés. Voir la page sur les algorithmes de reconnaissance d'empreintes digitales pour plus d'information, ainsi que des liens vers des concepteurs d'algorithmes.

History of fingerprints

Here are some links to know more about the history of fingerprints. It is unuseful for me to make a page about this!


Fingerprint is the modality that is the most used in devices and systems. Just visit the pages related to applications!

In some cases, fingerprints left by the artist enabled to clarify questions about authorship and dating.

How old a (latent) fingerprint is?

(2010) Forensic Scientists at the University of Sussex determined that the fingerprint's electrical activity decays over time. Imaging electrostatic fingerprints with implications for a forensic timeline Philip Watson, Robert J. Prance, Sam T. Beardsmore-Rust, Helen Prance / Centre for Physical Electronics and Quantum Technology, School of Engineering and Design, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QT, United Kingdom

For more information: