Browse Definitions:

capacitive scanner

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

A capacitive scanner is a fingerscanning device that uses an array of capacitive proximity sensors, along with a microcomputer and associated electronic signal processing circuits, to create and store a digital image of a human fingerprint.

Instead of photographing an image of the ridges and valleys in a fingerprint as an optical scanner does, a capacitive fingerscanner's sensors generate a complex pattern of electrical currents, which are processed to form a digital image of the fingerprint. Because the capacitive scanner requires the physical presence of the human finger in order to generate the image, it is more difficult to fool than an optical device, which can sometimes render an apparently legitimate file from a high-quality photograph.

Fingerscanning, also called fingerprint scanning, refers to any of several different technologies for electronically obtaining and storing human fingerprints. The digital image obtained by such scanning is called a finger image. Other methods of fingerscanning besides the capacitive method include optical scanning, thermal (heat) sensing, and pressure sensing.

This was last updated in December 2012

Continue Reading About capacitive scanner

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...


  • all-flash array (AFA)

    An all-flash array (AFA), also known as a solid-state storage disk system, is an external storage array that uses only flash ...

  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • external storage device

    An external storage device, also referred to as auxiliary storage and secondary storage, is a device that contains all the ...


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.