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2021 Mobile Fingerprinting Innovation Technology Challenge

Mobile Fingerprinting Innovation Technology (mFIT) Challenge logo

Advancing Mobile Fingerprint Capture Technology for Law Enforcement 

The Mobile Fingerprinting Innovation Technology Challenge (mFIT Challenge), hosted by PSCR and its challenge partners, asked innovators to advance mobile fingerprint capture technologies by building and demonstrating prototype applications to serve field law enforcement officers. In phase 1, six teams submitted award-winning concept papers. In the second of two phases, eight teams demonstrated that their mobile phone app successfully captured contactless fingerprint images using the device’s available sensors. NIST awarded $349,500 over the two phases.

NIST Mobile Fingerprinting Innovation Technology (mFIT) Challenge
NIST Mobile Fingerprinting Innovation Technology (mFIT) Challenge
This video provides an overview of the NIST PSCR Mobile Fingerprinting Innovation Technology (mFIT) Challenge.

Phase 2 Virtual Demonstration, Evaluation of Prototypes, and Open Source Contest Winners

Place/Prize Winner Amount
First Place (Tied) IDEMIA $101,000
First Place (Tied) Telos $101,000
Third Place (Tied) IDENTY $24,000
Third Place (Tied) The Slapshot SDK Team $24,000
Third Place (Tied) T3K & TeelTech $24,000
First Responder Choice Award IDEMIA $6,250
First Responder Choice Award Telos $6,250
Innovation Awards BlueBible $4,000
Innovation Awards Engineering Dynamics $4,000
Innovation Awards Tech5 $4,000
Total Phase 2 Awards   $298,500

Phase 1 Concept Paper Winners

Winner Amount
BlueBible Team $8,500
ENGR Dynamics $8,500
IDEMIA $8,500
Identy Inc. $8,500
The Slapshot SDK $8,500
Telos ID $8,500
Total Phase 1 Awards $51,000

Challenge Summary

The mFIT Challenge sought 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. We asked contestants 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 were encouraged to bridge technology gaps identified in the Official Rules and innovate in any area that would improve the accuracy and quality of results. The mFIT Challenge aimed to advance technology while preserving the mobile device’s form factor.

During the phase 2 evaluation period, PSCR researchers collected fingerprint images from over 100 volunteers on the eight contestant teams’ devices. Researchers ran the prototype-collected fingerprint images against FBI-certified device images and analyzed the images using the NIST Information Technology Laboratory’s NFRaCT tool (NIST Fingerprint Registration and Comparison Tool; ref NIST SP 500-336). They also ran the images against a mock trial database of over 2 million images. A panel of judges evaluated the eight prototypes for efficiency and effectiveness, implementation feasibility, user satisfaction and ease of use, and innovation and creativity.

NIST researchers in CTL/PSCR and ITL/Image Group are excited with the evaluation results and the significant technology advances exhibited in the winning prototypes. Future work in this topical area will continue with the Image Group and another Federal agency.


For questions about this challenge, send an email to psprizes [at] (psprizes[at]nist[dot]gov). You can find challenge details on

Created June 18, 2021, Updated July 19, 2023