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Fingerprint recognition has been successfully used by law enforcement for more than a century. The technology is now finding many other applications such as identity management and access control. Fingerprint recognition is an effective and speedy method towards accurate root cause determination. The skin on the palms and soles exhibits a flow-like pattern of ridges and valleys. These papillary ridges on the finger, called friction ridges, help the hand to grasp objects by increasing friction and improving the tactile sensing of surface textures. The "Friction ridge patterns" sidebar describes the nature and origin of these characteristics.
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