(19)
(11)EP 2 375 373 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.08.2019 Bulletin 2019/33

(21)Application number: 09831653.2

(22)Date of filing:  02.12.2009
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G06T 1/00  (2006.01)
G06K 9/00  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2009/006552
(87)International publication number:
WO 2010/067545 (17.06.2010 Gazette  2010/24)

(54)

BIOMETRIC INFORMATION ACQUISITION DEVICE, BIOMETRIC AUTHENTICATION DEVICE, LIGHT GUIDE, AND IMAGE ACQUISITION DEVICE

VORRICHTUNG ZUR ERFASSUNG BIOMETRISCHER INFORMATIONEN, VORRICHTUNG ZUR AUTHENTIFIKATION BIOMETRISCHER INFORMATIONEN UND BILDERFASSUNGSVORRICHTUNG

DISPOSITIF D ACQUISITION D INFORMATIONS BIOMÉTRIQUES, DISPOSITIF D AUTHENTIFICATION BIOMÉTRIQUE, GUIDE DE LUMIÈRE ET DISPOSITIF D ACQUISITION D IMAGES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 08.12.2008 JP 2008312629

(43)Date of publication of application:
12.10.2011 Bulletin 2011/41

(73)Proprietor: Maxell, Ltd.
Kyoto (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • OTSUBO, Hiroyasu
    Watari-gun Miyagi 989-2383 (JP)
  • SAKEMOTO, Akito
    Watari-gun Miyagi 989-2383 (JP)
  • YAMAZAKI, Masaki
    Watari-gun Miyagi 989-2383 (JP)

(74)Representative: Betten & Resch 
Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB Maximiliansplatz 14
80333 München
80333 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 001 283
JP-A- 2 176 984
JP-A- 5 298 431
JP-A- 2000 207 539
US-A1- 2006 159 317
EP-A2- 0 308 162
JP-A- 4 078 979
JP-A- 9 259 249
JP-A- 2001 153 630
US-A1- 2008 239 285
  
  • Paul R. Yoder: "Chapter 7: Designing and Mounting Prisms" In: "Opto-Mechanical Systems Design", 1 January 2006 (2006-01-01), Taylor & Francis Group, USA, XP055543768, ISBN: 978-1-57444-699-9 pages 331-400,
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

Technical Field



[0001] The present invention relates to a biometric information acquisition apparatus, a biometric authentication apparatus, a light guide, and an image acquisition apparatus.

Background Art



[0002] With the recent enhancement of information security protection, the progress in the technical development relating to biometric authentication has been remarkable. The biometric authentication is a technique that distinguishes a certain individual from other individuals based on a determination as to whether the biometric information which is acquired from an inspection targeted individual matches prestored biometric information. For example, there are a method of identifying an individual based on the iris of a human pupil, a method of identifying an individual based on the vein pattern of a human finger or the like, a method of identifying an individual based on the fingerprint pattern of a finger, and so on.

[0003] In accordance with such a background, research and development are being vigorously made on a biometric information acquisition apparatus and a biometric authentication apparatus including the same. For example, Patent Literature 1 discloses a technique for authentication based on a plurality of images obtained sequentially in chronological order. Further, Patent Literature 2 discloses an image pickup apparatus which is used for the biometric authentication. In this image pickup apparatus, a light source (100), a support (300), and an image authentication unit (200) are stacked on top of each other, thereby reducing the size of the image pickup apparatus.

Citation List


Patent Literature



[0004] 

PTL 1: Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2006-198174

PTL 2: Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2001-119008



[0005] US 2006/159317 A1 discloses an optical engine for fingerprint reader with a one-piece optical prism having double functions of prism and lens for replacing optical engines of traditional fingerprint readers that consists of a right-angle prism and a lens. Thus, the volume of the device is minimized for the convenience of being modularized. Moreover, there is a complete light path between the fingerprint and the sensing device so as to increase the signal to noise ratio (S/N) and the reliability as well as the stability of the optical engine. Furthermore, a LED light source is disposed around an optical prism while an arched concave with diameter of 120 mm for being pressed by finger is formed with ergonomically design so as to have more clear image of fingerprint.

[0006] EP 1001283 A1 discloses an optical device comprising an input optical member, in which a plurality of optical fibers are arranged parallel to each other and integrally formed, having an entrance surface and an exit surface which intersect an optical axis at an angle of 15 DEG and at an angle of 30 DEG, respectively; and an output optical member, in which a plurality of optical fibers are arranged parallel to each other and integrally formed, having an entrance surface and an exit surface which intersect an optical axis at an angle of 7.5 DEG and at an angle of 90 DEG, respectively. Here, the exit surface of the input optical member and the entrance surface of the output optical member are in contact with each other, whereas the angle formed between the optical axis of the input optical member and the optical axis of the output optical member is an angle of 22.5 DEG which is the difference between 30 DEG and 7.5 DEG mentioned above.

[0007] US 2008/239285 A1 discloses a fingerprint ID system providing function of compressed volume of the fingerprint ID system, which is comprised of adding a reflection device group between fingerprint plane of the device pervious to light and imaging plane of an image sensor; and the device pervious to light and a flat reflection plane group is integrated into one device for reducing the size of the fingerprint ID system and significantly upgrading automated precision assembly and easier alignment of devices to effectively reduce production cost and shorten production cycle.

Summary of Invention


Technical Problem



[0008] Incidentally, in the case where the biometric authentication apparatus is embedded in a small electronic device (e.g., a laptop computer, a mobile phone), there is a strong demand for reduction in cost and size of the biometric information acquisition apparatus that functions as an image acquisition portion of the biometric authentication apparatus.

[0009] There is a case where the size of the biometric information acquisition apparatus would be reduced by providing an optical system in front of an image pickup device. In this case, in order to reduce the size of the image pickup device, it is preferable to transfer an image through a plurality of reflective surfaces included in the optical system and to reduce the image in this process. However, it is sometimes difficult to secure a space for arranging the optical system for image transfer within the electronic device. In such a case, the biometric information acquisition apparatus cannot be sufficiently reduced in size.

Solution to Problem



[0010] The present invention is defined in the independent claims. Preferred embodiments are defined in the dependent claims.

[0011] The present invention has been made to solve the above-mentioned problem, and therefore an object of the present invention is to capture a subject image within a desired range in a biometric information acquisition apparatus having an optical system for image transfer, while suppressing an increase in size of the biometric information acquisition apparatus.

[0012] A finger image acquisition apparatus according to the present invention includes the features set out in Claim 1.

[0013] A biometric authentication apparatus according to the present invention includes the features set out in Claim 6.

Advantageous Effects of Invention



[0014] According to the present invention, a subject image may be captured within a desired range in a biometric information acquisition apparatus having an optical system for image transfer, while suppressing an increase in size of the biometric information acquisition apparatus.

Brief Description of Drawings



[0015] 

Fig. 1 is a schematic explanatory diagram showing a schematic structure of a biometric authentication apparatus according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2A is a schematic diagram showing a structure of a light guide according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2B is a schematic diagram showing the structure of the light guide according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2C is a schematic diagram showing the structure of the light guide according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 3 is a schematic diagram showing a structure of an image pickup unit according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 4 is a schematic explanatory diagram illustrating functions of the light guide according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 5 is a flowchart illustrating operation of the biometric authentication apparatus according to the first embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 6A is a schematic diagram illustrating a variation of a light guide 90 according to a second embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 6B is a schematic diagram illustrating a variation of the light guide 90 according to the second embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 6C is a schematic diagram illustrating a variation of the light guide 90 according to the second embodiment;

Fig. 7A is a schematic diagram illustrating a variation of the light guide 90 according to a third embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 7B is a schematic diagram illustrating a variation of the light guide 90 according to the third embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 8A is a schematic diagram showing a biometric information acquisition apparatus according to a reference example of the present invention;

Fig. 8B is a schematic diagram showing the biometric information acquisition apparatus according to the reference example of the present invention;

Fig. 9A is a schematic diagram showing the biometric information acquisition apparatus according to the reference example of the present invention; and

Fig. 9B is a schematic diagram showing the biometric information acquisition apparatus according to the reference example of the present invention.


Description of Embodiments



[0016] Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. Each embodiment is simplified for the sake of convenience of explanation. The drawings are in simplified form, and the technical scope of the present invention should not be interpreted to be limited to the drawings. The drawings are shown only for the purpose of illustrating the technical concept of the present invention, and the components shown in the drawings are not to scale. Identical elements are denoted by identical reference numerals, and a redundant explanation thereof is omitted. Directional terms such as "upper", "lower", "left", and "right" are used assuming that the drawings are viewed in front.

[First embodiment]



[0017] A first embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to Figs. 1. to 5. Fig. 1 is a schematic explanatory diagram showing a schematic structure of a biometric authentication apparatus. Figs. 2A to 2C are schematic diagrams each showing a structure of a light guide. Fig. 3 is a schematic diagram showing a structure of an image pickup unit. Fig. 4 is a schematic explanatory diagram illustrating functions of a light guide. Fig. 5 is a flowchart illustrating operation of the biometric authentication apparatus.

[0018] As shown in Fig. 1, a biometric authentication apparatus 10 includes a light source 50, a controller 52, a biometric information acquisition apparatus 55, and an authentication unit 60. The biometric authentication apparatus 10 is connected to a host device 65. Further, as shown in Fig. 1, the biometric information acquisition apparatus 55 includes an image pickup unit 85 and a light guide 90.

[0019] The biometric authentication apparatus 10 is embedded in a host device such as a cellular phone. The operating state of the host device is determined based on an authentication result obtained by the biometric authentication apparatus 10. For instance, when the biometric authentication apparatus 10 determines that the authentication is successful, the biometric authentication apparatus 10 outputs an authentication success signal, and the host device transitions from a non-operating state to an operating state. When the biometric authentication apparatus 10 determines that the authentication is unsuccessful, the biometric authentication apparatus 10 outputs an authentication failure signal to the host device 65, and the host device remains in the non-operating state. In this manner, confidential information within the host device can be protected by embedding the biometric authentication apparatus 10 into the host device.

[0020] The connection relationships are as follows. The controller 52 is connected to each of the light source 50, the image pickup unit 85, and the authentication unit 60. The light guide 90 is optically connected to the image pickup unit 85. An output of the image pickup unit 85 is connected to the authentication unit 60. The authentication unit 60 and the host device 65 are interconnected.

[0021] The light source 50 emits light of wavelengths ranging from a near-infrared region to an infrared region, for example, in response to a control signal from the controller 52. The light source 50 is a semiconductor light-emitting element (wavelengths of emitted light are 760 nm, 850 nm, 870 nm, 950 nm, etc.) in which a monolithic semiconductor element is packaged with a resin, for example. By allowing a current to flow through the semiconductor light-emitting element, the semiconductor light-emitting element emits light of a predetermined wavelength. To acquire a fingerprint image, the light source 50 may emit visible light.

[0022] The controller 52 controls the operating states of the light source 50, the image pickup unit 85, and the authentication unit 60. The controller 52 may be omitted by incorporating the functions of the controller into the authentication unit. In this case, the functions of the controller would be achieved by a program or glue logic of an arithmetic processing unit such as a CPU built in the authentication unit.

[0023] The light guide 90 is provided in front of the image pickup unit 85. The light guide 90 is a light guide that reduces an input image in its size and outputs it to the image pickup unit 85. The light guide 90 is a plate-like member which is substantially transparent with respect to the emitted light (in this case, near-infrared ray) from the light source 50.

[0024] As shown in Fig. 1, the light guide 90 includes a light beam introducing portion 90a and a light beam reflexing portion 90b. The light beam introducing portion 90a is provided with an image input area Rin to which a vein image is input. The light beam reflexing portion 90b has a side surface 94 which extends in a thickness direction of the light guide 90 and functions as a reflective surface. Even when the width of the light guide 90 along a z-axis would be enlarged by providing the side surface 94, the light guide 90 would be prevented from being elongated along a y-axis. This will be apparent from the description of a second embodiment and a reference example to be described later.

[0025] The light guide 90 is made of resin, glass, or the like. In the case of producing the light guide 90 using resin, resin materials such as acryl, polycarbonate, cycloolefin polymer, transparent polyimide, polyethylene, and polypropylene may be used.

[0026]  Referring to Figs. 2A to 2C, the structure of the light guide 90 is described.

[0027] As shown in Figs. 2A to 2C, the light guide 90 includes a front surface 91, a back surface (light reflective surface) 92, the side surface 94 (light reflective surface), and a side surface (light exit surface) 95. The light guide 90 further includes a back surface 93, a side surface 96, a side surface 97a, a side surface 97b, a side surface 98a, a side surface 98b, and a side surface 99.

[0028] The light guide 90 totally reflects a light beam on an interface between the light guide and air. In the process of propagating the light beam in the light guide 90, a vein image input to the image input area Rin is reduced in its size and output from the side surface 95. The angle between the side surface 94 and a boundary DL between the light beam introducing portion 90a and the light beam reflexing portion 90b is 45 degrees. The side surface 94 is perpendicular to the front surface 91.

[0029] The light guide 90 firstly reflects the incident light beam along an x-axis on the back surface 92 to propagate the incident light beam along the y-axis direction. Then, the light guide 90 reflects the propagating light on the side surface 94 to propagate the light along the z-axis direction. Thus, even in the case of acquiring a vein image having a large width along the z-axis, the light guide 90 can be prevented from being elongated along the y-axis. As a result, images can be obtained under desired conditions without increasing the size of the light guide 90. The vein image is reduced in its size through the process of guiding the incident light beam by the light guide 90. Accordingly, compared with the case in which the light guide 90 is not provided, the size of the image pickup unit 85 can be reduced. In the process of propagating the light in the light guide 90, the propagating light is propagated while being totally reflected on the front surface 91 and the back surface 93. The light guide 90 is optically designed to satisfy the total reflection conditions, thereby making it possible to reduce a propagation loss of light in the light guide 90 and to obtain a high-quality vein image.

[0030] On a portion of the front surface 91 other than the image input area Rin, a metal reflective film or a light reflective layer having wavelength selectivity may be formed. In the case of forming the light reflective layer having reflectivity to light with a wavelength of light emitted from the light source 50, light of unnecessary wavelengths can be emitted to the outside of the light guide 90. This results in an improvement in quality of a vein image to be acquired. Similarly, a metal reflective film or a light reflective layer having wavelength selectivity may be formed on the back surface 92, the back surface 93, and the side surface 93, each of which functions as a reflective surface.

[0031] When the metal reflective film is formed on the surface of the light guide 90, electrostatic charge becomes a problem. When the light guide 90 is optically designed to satisfy the total reflection conditions, the electric charge poses no problem. The same holds true in the case where the light reflective layer having wavelength selectivity is formed. When no metal reflective film is formed, the electric charge is discharged to each of the controller 52, the authentication unit 60, and the image pickup unit 85, thereby preventing electrostatic breakdown of these electronic components.

[0032] Referring to Fig. 3, the image pickup unit 85 shown in Fig. 1 includes a lens 85a and an image pickup device 85b. The optical axis of the lens 85a is set to be perpendicular to the side surface 95. The lens 85a functions as a condenser lens, and reduces and outputs the input vein image. The image pickup device 85b is a typical image pickup device such as a thin film transistor (TFT), a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS), or a charge coupled device (CCD). The image pickup device 85b includes pixels arranged in a matrix form. The image pickup device 85b generates an electric signal corresponding to the amount of incident light in each pixel, thereby capturing a vein image. The image pickup device 85b captures the vein image based on the control signal from the controller 52, and outputs the picked-up image to the authentication unit 60.

[0033] The authentication unit 60 shown in Fig. 1 executes authentication based on comparison between the vein image captured by the image pickup unit 85 and a prestored vein image based on the control signal from the controller 52, and outputs an authentication result to the host device 65. The detailed operations of the authentication unit 60 are arbitrary. The authentication unit 60 may execute authentication by extracting feature points from the images to be compared and determining whether these feature points are identical or similar to each other. The authentication unit 60 is implemented by executing a program stored in a recording medium, such as a hard disk, in an arithmetic processing unit such as a CPU. Alternatively, the authentication unit 60 may also be implemented by hardware processing such as glue logic.

[0034] Referring now to Fig. 4, the functions of the light guide 90 are described.

[0035] Reference symbols A, B, C, D, E, and F in Fig. 4 denote object points. As shown in Fig. 4, light from each object point propagates through a prism. In this case, in optical paths from the object points, each reflecting point on the back surfaces 92 and 93 is represented by "o", and each reflecting point on the front surface 91 is represented by "×". Referring to Fig. 4, the reflecting position on the side surface 94 varies among the object points. For instance, light from the object point A is reflected on the back surface 92, the front surface 91, the back surface 93, the side surface 94, the front surface 91, and the back surface 93 in this order, and exits from the side surface 95. Light from the object point C is reflected on the back surface 92, the side surface 94, the front surface 91, and the back surface 93 in this order, and exits from the side surface 95. In this manner, the incident light propagates through the light guide 90 along different optical paths according to the incident positions in the image input area Rin. Also in this case, the optical paths have the same number of reflections on the front surface and the same number of reflections on the back surface. In addition, the light is always reflected on the side surface 94.

[0036] Lastly, referring to Fig. 5, the operation of the biometric authentication apparatus 10 is described.

[0037] Firstly, the biometric authentication function is activated (S1) to thereby activate the biometric authentication apparatus 10. A specific method of activating the biometric authentication apparatus 10 is arbitrary. A start switch connected to the controller 52 may be provided in the biometric authentication apparatus 10, and the biometric authentication function may be activated by pressing the start switch.

[0038] Next, a near-infrared ray is irradiated onto a human finger (S2). Specifically, the light source 50 irradiates a near-infrared ray onto the human finger, which is placed on the front surface 91 of the light guide 90, in response to the control signal from the controller 52. The near-infrared ray irradiated onto the human finger is diffused in the human finger. The near-infrared ray is absorbed in portions corresponding to the positions of veins of the human. A vein image can be acquired by capturing the light transmitted through the human finger.

[0039] Then, an image is acquired (S3). Specifically, the image pickup unit 85 captures the vein image output from the light guide 90 in response to the control signal from the controller 52.

[0040] Then, image processing is executed (S4). Specifically, the authentication unit 60 executes image processing (e.g., distortion correction processing) on the image data output from the image pickup unit 85, in response to the control signal from the controller 52.

[0041] Then, authentication is executed (S5). Specifically, the authentication unit 60 compares the image data acquired at this time with prestored image data in response to the control signal from the controller 52, and determines whether the human inspected at this time matches a registered human.

[0042] When the authentication is successful, the functions of the host device are activated (S7). When the authentication is successful, the authentication unit 60 outputs an authentication success signal to the host device 65. The host device 65 activates a specific function based on the authentication success signal from the authentication unit 60. Thus, the host device transitions from the non-operating state to the operating state. When the authentication is unsuccessful, the host device remains in the non-operating state.

[Second embodiment]



[0043] Referring to Figs. 6A to 6C, a second embodiment of the present invention is described. Figs. 6A to 6C are schematic diagrams illustrating variations of the light guide 90.

[0044] In place of the light guide shown in Fig. 6A, the light guide 90 shown in Figs. 6B and 6C may be employed. Also in such a case, the same effects as those of the first embodiment can be obtained.

[0045] As shown in Fig. 6B, an unnecessary portion which does not transmit the propagating light may be partially removed from the light guide 90, depending on the optical path along which the light incident on the image input area Rin propagates in the light guide 90. This allows further downsizing of the light guide 80.

[0046] As is obvious from Fig. 6B, the light beam reflexing portion 90b has a portion which becomes narrower as being away from the light beam introducing portion 90a and which is positioned between the light beam introducing portion 90a and the side surface 95.

[0047] As shown in Fig. 6C, structures 32, 34, and 36 for attaching the light guide 90 to a housing or the like may be formed on a side surface which does not function as a reflective surface. Consequently, the light guide 90 can easily be fixed to other members without impairing the optical characteristics of the light guide 90.

[Third embodiment]



[0048] Referring to Figs. 7A and 7B, a third embodiment of the present invention is described. Figs. 7A and 7B are schematic diagrams illustrating variations of the light guide 90.

[0049] As shown in Figs. 7A and 7B, black layers (light-absorbing layers 42a to 42d) may be formed on a side surface which does not function as a reflective surface. Also in such a case, the same effects as those of the above embodiments can be obtained.

[0050] The formation of the black layers on the side surface which does not function as a reflective surface prevents unwanted light from being reflected on the side surface. This makes it possible to suppress degradation in quality of the acquired vein image due to unwanted reflection.

[0051] The black layer 42b is preferably formed within a range R20 shown in Fig. 7A. This makes it possible to effectively reduce unwanted light generated in the light guide 90. Moreover, it is possible to acquire an excellent vein image and to achieve highly accurate biometric authentication.

[Reference example]



[0052] Hereinafter, a reference example is described with reference to Figs. 8A and 8B and Figs. 9A and 9B. Figs. 8A and 8B and Figs. 9A and 9B are schematic diagrams each showing a biometric information acquisition apparatus according to the reference example.

[0053] As shown in Figs. 8A and 8B, the light guide 90 guides a light beam by reflection between the front surface and the back surface. The light guide 90 is interposed to avoid an increase in size of the apparatus and to ensure the necessary optical path length.

[0054] However, in the case of enlarging the width along the z-direction of the light guide 90 in order to capture a vein image in a wider range, it becomes necessary to enlarge the width along the y-axis of the light guide 90. Specifically, as shown in Figs. 9A and 9B, it becomes necessary to enlarge the width along the y-axis of the light guide 90. This is because the optical path length required for reducing the vein image increases as the acquired vein image is enlarged.

[0055] As described above, in this embodiment, the light guide 90 has the side surface 94. This makes it possible to avoid an increase in the width along the y-axis of the light guide 90 as in the reference example. In other words, even in the case of enlarging the acquired vein image, it is possible to avoid an increase in size of the light guide 90.

[0056] The acquired vein image may be distorted in the process of guiding a light beam in the light guide. The distortion generated in the acquired image in this case may be eliminated by image processing. The light guide is preferably placed in a housing so as to prevent unwanted extraneous light from being incident on the light guide.

Industrial Applicability



[0057] In a biometric information acquisition apparatus having an optical system for image transfer, a subject image can be captured within a desired range, while suppressing an increase in size of the biometric information acquisition apparatus.

Reference Signs List



[0058] 
10
BIOMETRIC AUTHENTICATION APPARATUS
50
LIGHT SOURCE
52
CONTROLLER
55
BIOMETRIC INFORMATION ACQUISITION APPARATUS
60
AUTHENTICATION UNIT
65
HOST DEVICE
85
IMAGE PICKUP UNIT
85a
LENS
85b
IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE
90
LIGHT GUIDE
90a
LIGHT BEAM INTRODUCING PORTION
90b
LIGHT BEAM REFLEXING PORTION
91
FRONT SURFACE
92
BACK SURFACE
93
BACK SURFACE
94
SIDE SURFACE
95
SIDE SURFACE
96
SIDE SURFACE
97a
SIDE SURFACE
97b
SIDE SURFACE
98a
SIDE SURFACE
98b
SIDE SURFACE
99
SIDE SURFACE
42a-42d
LIGHT-ABSORBING LAYER



Claims

1. A finger image acquisition apparatus (55) comprising:

a light guide (90) that guides a light beam through a plurality of light reflective surfaces; and

an image pickup unit (85) that receives the light beam output from the light guide and captures a subject image,

wherein the light guide comprises:

a front surface (91) including an input surface that receives a subject image;

when a direction perpendicular to a front surface is defined as a direction of an x-axis, and two axes perpendicular to each other on a plane perpendicular to the x-axis are defined as a y-axis and a z-axis, respectively,

a first light reflective surface (92) that reflects light incident from the input surface along the x-axis to propagate the light along a direction of the y-axis; and

a second light reflective surface (94) that reflects the light reflected by the first light reflective surface to propagate the light along a direction of the z-axis, wherein

the first and second light reflective surfaces form a part of an exterior surface of the light guide;wherein the first light reflective surface is parallel to the z-axis and crosses the x-axis, and

the second light reflective surface is parallel to the x-axis and crosses the y-axis.


 
2. The finger image acquisition apparatus according to Claim 1, wherein
the light guide is configured in such a way that the front surface including the input surface further reflects the light reflected by the first light reflective surface.
 
3. The finger image acquisition apparatus according to Claims 1 or 2, wherein
when viewed from the direction of the x-axis of the light guide, the light guide becomes narrower as being away from input surface along the y-axis.
 
4. The finger image acquisition apparatus according to any one of Claims 1 to 2, wherein

the light guide further comprises a light exit surface (95) that is parallel to the direction of the y-axis and crosses the direction of the z-axis,

a light-absorbing layer (42a-42d) is at least partially formed on a side surface of the light guide, except for the second light reflective surface and the light exit surface.


 
5. The finger image acquisition apparatus according to any one of Claims 1 to 4, wherein

the light guide further comprises a light exit surface (95) that is parallel to the direction of the y-axis and crosses the direction of the z-axis, and

the image pickup unit comprises:

a lens (85a) opposed to the light exit surface; and

an image pickup device (85b) that receives a light beam incident through the lens and captures the subject image.


 
6. A biometric authentication apparatus comprising:

the finger image acquisition apparatus according to any one of Claims 1 to 5; and

an authentication execution unit that executes authentication based on comparison between the subject image captured by the image pickup unit and a prestored image.


 


Ansprüche

1. Fingerbilderfassungsvorrichtung (55), die Folgendes umfasst:

einen Lichtleiter (90), der einen Lichtstrahl durch mehrere lichtreflektierende Flächen leitet; und

eine Bildaufnahmeeinheit (85), die den Lichtstrahl empfängt, der von dem Lichtleiter ausgegeben wird, und ein Bild einer Testperson erfasst,

wobei der Lichtleiter Folgendes umfasst:

eine Vorderfläche (91), die eine Eingangsfläche enthält, die das Bild einer Testperson empfängt;

wenn eine Richtung senkrecht zu einer Vorderfläche als eine Richtung einer x-Achse definiert ist und zwei Achsen, die auf einer Ebene, die senkrecht zu der x-Achse ist, senkrecht zueinander sind, als eine y-Achse bzw. eine z-Achse definiert sind,

eine erste lichtreflektierende Oberfläche (92), die Licht reflektiert, das von der Eingangsfläche entlang der x-Achse einfällt, so dass sich das Licht entlang einer Richtung der y-Achse ausbreitet; und

eine zweite lichtreflektierende Oberfläche (94), die das Licht reflektiert, das von der ersten lichtreflektierenden Oberfläche reflektiert worden ist, so dass sich das Licht entlang einer Richtung der z-Achse ausbreitet, wobei

die erste und die zweite lichtreflektierende Oberfläche einen Teil einer Außenfläche des Lichtleiters bilden; wobei

die erste lichtreflektierende Oberfläche parallel zu der z-Achse ist und die x-Achse kreuzt, und

die zweite lichtreflektierende Oberfläche parallel zu der x-Achse ist und die y-Achse kreuzt.


 
2. Fingerbilderfassungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei:
der Lichtleiter derart konfiguriert ist, dass die Vorderfläche, die die Eingangsfläche enthält, ferner das Licht reflektiert, das von der ersten lichtreflektierenden Oberfläche reflektiert wird.
 
3. Fingerbilderfassungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei:
der Lichtleiter dann, wenn er aus der Richtung der x-Achse des Lichtleiters betrachtet wird, schmaler wird, wenn er entlang der y-Achse von der Eingangsfläche entfernt ist.
 
4. Fingerbilderfassungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 bis 2, wobei:

der Lichtleiter ferner eine Lichtaustrittsfläche (95) umfasst, die parallel zu der Richtung der y-Achse ist und die Richtung der z-Achse kreuzt,

eine lichtabsorbierende Schicht (42a-42d) auf einer Seitenfläche des Lichtleiters mit Ausnahme der zweiten lichtreflektierenden Oberfläche und der Lichtaustrittsfläche zumindest teilweise gebildet ist.


 
5. Fingerbilderfassungsvorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei
der Lichtleiter ferner eine Lichtaustrittsfläche (95) umfasst, die parallel zu der Richtung der y-Achse ist und die Richtung der z-Achse kreuzt, und
die Bilderfassungseinheit Folgendes umfasst:

eine Linse (85a), die der Lichtaustrittsfläche gegenüberliegt; und

eine Bilderfassungsvorrichtung (85b), die einen Lichtstrahl empfängt, der durch die Linse einfällt, und das Bild einer Testperson erfasst.


 
6. Biometrische Authentifizierungseinrichtung, die Folgendes umfasst:

die Fingerbilderfassungsvorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5; und

eine Authentifizierungsausführungseinheit, die die Authentifizierung basierend auf einem Vergleich zwischen dem von der Bilderfassungseinheit erfassten Bild der Testperson und einem vorher gespeicherten Bild ausführt.


 


Revendications

1. Appareil d'acquisition d'image d'empreinte digitale (55) comprenant :

un guide lumière (90) qui guide un faisceau de lumière à travers une pluralité de surfaces réfléchissant la lumière ; et

une unité de collecte d'image (85) qui reçoit le faisceau de lumière fourni en sortie depuis le guide lumière et capture une image sujet,

dans lequel le guide lumière comprend :

une surface avant (91) incluant une surface d'entrée qui reçoit une image sujet ;

lorsqu'une direction perpendiculaire à une surface avant est définie en tant que direction d'un axe x, et deux axes perpendiculaires l'un à l'autre sur un plan perpendiculaire à l'axe x sont définis en tant qu'axe y et axe z, respectivement,

une première surface réfléchissant la lumière (92) qui réfléchit une lumière incidente depuis la surface d'entrée le long de l'axe x pour propager la lumière selon une direction de l'axe y ; et

une deuxième surface réfléchissant la lumière (94) qui réfléchit la lumière réfléchie par la première surface réfléchissant la lumière pour propager la lumière selon une direction de l'axe z, dans lequel

les première et deuxième surfaces réfléchissant la lumière forment une partie d'une surface extérieure du guide lumière ; dans lequel la première surface réfléchissant la lumière est parallèle à l'axe z et croise l'axe x, et

la deuxième surface réfléchissant la lumière est parallèle à l'axe x et croise l'axe y.


 
2. Appareil d'acquisition d'image d'empreinte digitale selon la revendication 1, dans lequel
le guide lumière est configuré de manière à ce que la surface avant incluant la surface d'entrée réfléchisse en outre la lumière réfléchie par la première surface réfléchissant la lumière.
 
3. Appareil d'acquisition d'image d'empreinte digitale selon les revendications 1 ou 2, dans lequel
lorsqu'il est vu depuis la direction de l'axe x du guide lumière, le guide lumière se rétrécit en s'éloignant d'une surface d'entrée le long de l'axe y.
 
4. Appareil d'acquisition d'image d'empreinte digitale selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 et 2, dans lequel le guide lumière comprend en outre une surface de sortie de lumière (95) qui est parallèle à la direction de l'axe y et croise la direction de l'axe z,
une couche d'absorption de lumière (42a à 42d) est formée au moins partiellement sur une surface de côté du guide lumière, à l'exception de la deuxième surface réfléchissant la lumière et de la surface de sortie de lumière.
 
5. Appareil d'acquisition d'image d'empreinte digitale selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel
le guide lumière comprend en outre une surface de sortie de lumière (95) qui est parallèle à la direction de l'axe y et croise la direction de l'axe z, et
l'unité de collecte d'image comprend :

une lentille (85a) opposée à la surface de sortie de lumière ; et

un dispositif de collecte d'image (85b) qui reçoit un faisceau de lumière incident à travers la lentille et capture l'image sujet.


 
6. Appareil d'authentification biométrique comprenant :

l'appareil d'acquisition d'image d'empreinte digitale selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5 ; et

une unité d'exécution d'authentification qui exécute une authentification sur la base d'une comparaison entre l'image sujet capturée par l'unité de collecte d'image et une image préstockée.


 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description