An Overview of Mobile Touchless Fingerprint Biometrics

Christina Spaulding, Keith Wojciech, Mac Funchess
February 7, 2023 • 5 min read
Touchless Fingerprinting

In today’s cyber world, digital fingerprinting has become the primary data standard for proving an individual’s identity. While ink-based fingerprint cards (later digitized) are still accepted by some agencies, the improved accuracy, ease, and speed make digital fingerprint capture the widely preferred option. With the spread of touch-based digital fingerprint reader devices over the past two decades, costs for end users have come down to equal, or even lower than, card-based ink fingerprint captures. But now there’s an even better, easier, cost-efficient solution: mobile touchless fingerprint biometrics.

What is mobile touchless fingerprint biometrics?

Telos is a pioneer and industry leader in touchless fingerprinting technology. Instead of presenting fingers on a purpose-built fingerprint reader device, an individual now can simply use a standard mobile phone camera to take a picture of the hand using our ONYX® digital fingerprinting software. ONYX’s proprietary AI technology, along with advanced matching algorithm and processing capabilities, can accurately identify, record, and match an individual’s fingerprints at the highest levels of fidelity.

From a single snap of the camera, ONYX quickly detects an individual’s finger pads, automatically captures their image, and then normalizes that image to return a machine-readable, individual high contrast, high resolution, and accurate fingerprint image for each fingertip.

ONYX also includes liveness detection and anti-spoofing measures that are continuously improved and refined, ensuring security that the fingerprints captured truly match the individual submitting them.

Benefits to Your Organization

Agencies and organizations will find a variety of benefits from mobile touchless fingerprint biometrics such as:

  • Ease of use
  • Ease of development
  • High accuracy
  • Reduced physical assets & lower cost
  • Lower costs

Ease of Use

ONYX is incredibly easy to use for the purpose of fingerprint capture and enrollment. During the image capture process, a user simply places their hand in front of the rear-facing camera on the device, palm facing the camera, and ONYX does the rest. It captures the real-time, optimized image automatically, then analyses and saves each individual’s fingerprints as unique files. 

Ease of Development

The ONYX software development kit (SDK) provides comprehensive support and resources for developers to integrate into nearly any iOS or Android mobile application.

High Accuracy

ONYX uses Telos’s proprietary neural network, CaptureNet™, to detect the fingers in the camera field of view, automatically capture them once they’re in focus, and segment each fingertip into a separate image file. ONYX then uses advanced normalization methods on the captured images to return high contrast, high resolution, accurate fingerprint images.

Reduced Physical Assets & Lower Costs

The procurement and management of purpose-built fingerprint reader devices can be cumbersome and costly. ONYX’s ability to be used seamlessly on ubiquitous mobile devices reduces the need for human and financial resources significantly.

Benefits to End Users

The benefits of mobile touchless fingerprint biometrics for end users are significant as well including:

  • Convenience
  • Hygiene
  • Speed


End users simply take a picture of their hand with the ONYX-enabled app on a compatible mobile device. They do not have to worry about proper finger placement or pressure like they would on a touch-based fingerprint device. Users can also submit their captured fingerprints through an app themselves. This eliminates the need to travel to a physical fingerprinting location as well as increasing privacy.


Another benefit is improved hygiene and physical safety. Mobile touchless fingerprint biometrics removes the need for physical touch from the fingerprinting process, improving hygiene concerns and minimizing the risk of transferring surface-borne illnesses.


The fingerprint capture process using ONYX is quick, only requiring a photo that takes just a few seconds to obtain for each hand and thumbs.

Why Should I Choose Mobile Touchless Fingerprint Biometrics?

Mobile touchless fingerprint biometrics is vastly superior to current and hardware-based biometric recognition technologies on the market. Here are some reasons why.

Fingerprinting vs Facial Recognition

Human fingerprints are unique to each and every individual, even in the case of twins. Fingerprints, unlike facial features, do not change over time.

Touchless vs Touch-based Digital Fingerprinting

Touchless fingerprinting is often compared to embedded touch-based fingerprint sensors on mobile phones. Embedded fingerprint sensors are hardware segregated however, meaning the underlying biometric data cannot be accessed by software installed on the phone. Further these sensors are relatively small, often capturing less than 20% of a finger pad’s distinct elements. These factors are insufficient for high-fidelity database enrollment and matching capabilities required by ever-increasing identity verification standards in government and industry.

The main difference between purpose-built hardware based “live scan” fingerprint reader devices and touchless fingerprinting like ONYX is in the convenience, cost, and ease of use rather than quality and security. Live scan devices are bulky and not easily portable, and are a single-function pieces of equipment. Also, dedicated live scan devices can cost hundreds to many thousands of dollars, requiring significant upfront financial and logistical investment.

Mobile Touchless Fingerprint Biometrics is the Optimal Digital Identity Solution

ONYX’s mobile touchless fingerprint biometrics is the ideal solution for organizations and agencies that need fast, reliable biometric identification without resorting to using cumbersome or costly devices.

OYNX has a globally proven track record in the real world and has received critical acclaim from one of the most prestigious technology entities in the world. Let us show how your organization can reduce costs, minimize equipment requirements, and deliver fast, accurate digital identification solutions.

Christina Spaulding
Digital Marketing Specialist
Christina Spaulding is a seasoned digital marketing expert, with over 20 years of experience in enterprise management systems and SaaS products.
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