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Baby footprint identification

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Identification of new born baby's is one of the main tasks of the medical team following birth. Especially in developing countries , where security in public maternity wards is not very tight, and overcrowding is common, the risks of a baby swap or kidnap are above acceptable.

Reliable and fast methods for identification of new born baby's were made available and used inside maternities and hospitals, as well as on airports or bus stations.

New born baby's fingerprints cant be clearly captured , palm print recognition is not suitable for new born baby's yet since it is often difficult to let a newborn open his hand. Although the DNA examination is proven to be efficient in the univocal identification of individuals , but it comes at high cost and can't be used in real time applications , demanding sophisticated laboratory procedures.

Compared to other techniques , footprint recognition is very attractive for newborn personal authentication , since it is
  • a non invasive method
  • easy applicability
  • low cost
  • wide acceptance.

Acquisition of newborns footprints at birth is used as means of identification in many countries since the beginning of the 20th century (Shepard et al., 1966;Cat, 2003; Vaesken, 2006). Usually the footprints are collected with ink spread on the foot with a cylinder and then printed on the newborns’ medical record, along with the mothers fingerprint. That way, it is expected that any identity doubt about the baby or his/her mother can verified. Unfortunately, due to illegibility problems, the use of these footprints for identification purposes is not possible in the majority of cases.

According to several studies (Cat, 2003; Shepard et al., 1966; Pel´a et al., 1975; Lomuto and Duverges, 1995; Thompson et al., 1981), the main reasons for illegible footprints are:
  • Use of inadequate materials (ink, paper, cylinder);
  • Untrained personal for footprint acquisition;
  • Baby’s skin covered with an oily substance;
  • Reduced thickness of the newborn epidermis, easily deforming the ridges upon contact and filling the valleys between ridges with ink;
  • Reduced size of the newborns ridges, which are three to five times smaller than on adults.

  • Image acquisition is fast , so reduces time for capturing footprint image.
  • More reliable than other types of newborns footprints identification.
  • If high resolution scanner used to scan ,greater resolution would yield better results.
  • Fast and accurate identification.


Baby Foot Print Samples :

Click image for larger version

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Baby Foot Print Verification Application :

ENROLLMENT : When a new baby born's , register that baby in the local database with the basic details and foot prints.
Basic Details :
Enrollment ID :- a unique ID for baby.
Baby Name : - name of the baby.
Father Name : - baby's father name.
Mother Name :- baby's mother name
Date of Birth : baby's DOB.
Place :- baby's born place details .
Biometric Data : Take two captures of each foot .(Left foot 2 and right foot 2).

Click image for larger version

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Click on “Enroll” button to save the data.

Matching : For Matching two different images of baby footprint taken . We can take this images directly from database or by live scan.

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Click on “Match” button , to verify baby footprints.

Below is an eg. Where baby with name “qwe3r” is verified against his/her footprint .
One sample is loaded from database and other is taken using livescan.

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In this article we presented a newborn footprint acquisition technique that uses a high-resolution optical sensor and provides very good identification rate.

Updated 07-20-2012 at 01:26 PM by