Join the mFIT Challenge to advance mobile fingerprint capture technology, help first responders, and earn prize awards! Contestants will build and demonstrate prototype applications and/or mobile device accessories for more efficient and cost-effective fingerprint capture by field-based law enforcement officers.
Hosted by the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), this two-phase challenge, has a prize purse up to $430,000. The First Responders Network Authority and AT&T Corporation (FirstNet Built with AT&T) are partnering with PSCR on this challenge.
Identity verification is essential for firearm licensing, criminal background checks, employment eligibility, and protecting vulnerable populations. In addition, law enforcement personnel often encounter individuals in situations when the confirmation of the persons’ identity or a background check is necessary. If the individual does not have proper identification or is possibly using a false identity, officers can capture fingerprint images and compare the images to national, state, or local identity databases to help determine the individual’s identity. This information can help the officer make a better decision on whether to release the individual or hold them for further processing.
In a typical situation where a law enforcement officer needs to run a full identification check with fingerprint search, the law enforcement officer would possibly need to transport the individual to a facility for processing. Fingerprint images are critical because fingerprint data can be extremely helpful in the proper identification of an individual. However, shortages in personnel and equipment resources, as well as health and environmental factors, limit the ability of law enforcement to process and transport individuals to fingerprinting facilities.
Developing or improving fingerprint capture solutions that are more convenient and cost effective for use by field officers would minimize the financial and logistical burden on public safety organizations while ensuring officers have access to relevant identification databases. This prize challenge aims to create or improve an application on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, that accesses the device sensors and captures and processes high-quality digital fingerprint images that are interoperable with existing fingerprint management systems. Solutions may use contactless, contact-based, or a combination of technologies.
Challenge Goals and Objectives
This challenge seeks innovative new or improved mobile applications that access the available sensors on mobile devices to capture high-quality digital fingerprint images, thereby improving the performance and efficiency of identification in the field. Contestants are asked to submit a mobile application that captures quality digital images of at least two fingers (including index and middle) on the left and right hands. Contestants are encouraged to bridge technology gaps identified in the Official Rules and to innovate in any area that would improve the accuracy and quality of results. The ultimate objective of this challenge is to advance technology while preserving the form factor of the mobile device. Law enforcement officers explicitly do not want to carry additional equipment; however, a contestant’s prototype may modify the form factor with justification.
The prize purse for the mFIT Challenge is up to $430,000.
NIST Public Safety Communications Research Division is hosting a 2-phase challenge with the following prize awards:
Phase 1 – Concept Paper (up to 15): $8,500 each, up to $127,500 total
- Contestants will submit a concept design for their proposed solution along with team biographies on the Challenge website. See the Official Rules for submission requirements.
Phase 2 – Virtual Demonstration, Evaluation of Prototypes, and Open Source Contest (various): up to $302,500
- Contestants will develop a prototype and/or application, deliver any hardware devices/add-ons and/or software to PSCR, and provide a recorded demonstration of their proposed solution. See the Official Rules for submission requirements.
- 1st place cash prize (1): $100,000;
- 2nd place cash prize (1): $60,000;
- 3rd place cash prize (1): $30,000;
- First Responder’s Choice Award (1): $12,500
- Innovation Prizes: Up to 5 Innovation Prize Winners may win $4,000 each for outstanding innovation.
- Open Source Awards: Up to 10 Open Source awards of $8,000 each will be made to participants who share their full source code and/or complete device specifications in a public repository.