Why select PrintQuest over other famous and less famous brands?

We could summarize in ONE statement:

Top Accuracy combined with affordable Price!

Think twice about companies that:

  • Claim they are "beyond comparisons"
  • Refuse to let you perform your own comparative tests, with your cards and latents
  • Claim they don't have a benchmark database to provide you with (5,000 as a minimum to 15,000 people to get proper statistics.). A 100-500 cards database is meaningless and can hide defaults which will only show up years after you bought a system.
  • Companies that try to get you off the KEY subject: Where will my real HIT be on the list of candidates when my database grows. Companies that try to focus the conversation on speed rather accuracy are usually not very tempted by side by side tests in a reasonable size benchmark database. As far as we're concerned speed is not the issue, all serious companies can add more processors (networked with your original System) each time you request a speed improvement. But does your real HIT stay high in the list of candidates as you grow the database, or will it fall down so far that you will spend hours on each latent review or just never find the real hit in the candidate list.
  • Claim they have so many installed systems that you should not worry. Better performance does not always go with well established systems. Luckily most police Dept's like to see and test what they are getting and are open to innovative ideas, so why not include some real comparisons in the process, and allow companies to show their new and innovative capabilities. We have experienced this before, in 1991 SPEX, was not known at all in the Forensics Light Source business, but is now THE worldwide leader, which sold large amounts of units to FBI (71 MCS-400's, 10 CS-16's), National Japanese Police (48 CS-16's) and more recently French Gendarmerie (23 units) after these agencies compared carefully with the "established companies" through a lengthy cautious process.


  • Full flexibility in Latent quality and scale for input to the PrintQuest Database how many latents has the state AFIS rejected because the print is not good enough, while YOU can easily see viable points.
  • Automated Extraction for TP cards (Patterns are semi-automatic). Thanks to its high accuracy pattern auto-extraction of centers and deltas, PrintQuest allows very fast tenprint card entry as opposed to other systems that require a lot of checking and edition.
  • Fully automated palm entry: You can create a large database very quickly.
  • Very powerful and accurate extraction for latents: Save a lot of time for Latent entry.
  • Multiple parameters innovative technique using true Skeleton information for the searches.
  • Fully Scalable concept: You can add more Matchers (CPU processors) to increase speed, Single PC, medium or large Servers, PrintQuest is fully expandable.
  • No custom hardware: We use off the shelf Workstations (WS420) and Servers (6400) (all DELL brand for now, as they rate as the number one for reliability, while offering all components for the small PC Systems to the Large Servers, matchers for integration in racks, Raid-5 large storage systems.), so you are NOT locked with Custom costly hardware and unaffordable upgrades. (Models and brand may change without notice)

Recommendations for Comparisons

Each company should:

  • Provide a PC already loaded with 5,000 to 15,000 cards (Verify it.), meaning you get 50,000 to 150,000 fingerprints and 10,000 to 30,000 palmprints to search YOUR cards/latents pairs through. Cards must be all different, not duplicated, for proper statistics: After a few searches, you will be able to verify it: If cards have been duplicated, they will show as consecutive cards in the candidate lists.
  • Provide a ½ day training/demo and then let one of your operators process the samples by himself. So you get a good idea of:

    • How friendly the system is.
    • How much the system does for you automatically, and how much remains to be done manually. Time counts. even if accuracy should be your first focus when you get your own small size AFIS. Not all systems include powerful tools to avoid lengthy checking procedures
    • How accurate systems are: Record the number of hits in top position in the candidate lists for each latent, the number of hits in position 2-5, 6-10 or worse. The best System is the one that provides the most hits in the positions closest to the top of the list, and with the least number of complete missed hits. The more latents you process, the more representative your test is.

Ideally the various vendors' systems should be compared with the same minutiae extractions on the latents (but also track how much time is needed to reach this "perfect" minutiae extraction on the latents.

You should pull from your files:

6-8 cards (if you test the system for a day) or 20-40 cards if you get the system for 2 days. These cards should include palm files too if you will be using that capability. Most AFIS systems fingerprint matching techniques are NOT good enough for palms which require much more complex algorithms to give proper accuracy, so test BOTH capabilities. 8-12 latent fingerprints that were manually matched with the above cards by your Dept. (or 12-25 if you have 2 days) 6-8 latent palmprints&ldots; (or 12-25 for a two day evaluation).

We recommend that the latent fingerprints and palmprints range from 7-8 matching points only to 12-16 points, why make it easy and enter latents with 20 minutiae?

If you have time, don't limit your tests to "Latent to Ten-print" searches. Some brands do not feature the same accuracy for the "Ten-print to Latent" and "Latent to Latent" searches.

Test it all if possible. AFIS is not just a large investment that justifies getting the best, it MUST perform extremely well or criminals will remain at large.


If you are a large agency that plans to build a Database with more than 50,000 ten-print cards and will spend more than $100K, we recommend tests that last more than 2 days.

Some of our customers have borrowed our evaluation systems for 3 weeks, after getting a 2-day training. We provided them with a 10,000 cards benchmark preloaded database (so-called background database), and they added their 500 cards, and 50 latents. We won't mention (yet!) which famous brand they currently have, but their results with our system seemed to be the best they ever saw. When budgets come through for these systems, we will give updates.

For large systems decisions, we recommend that you enter a minimum of 250 of your cards and 50-100 latents. If you agree to release some results to other police agencies, and perform the tests in a reasonable amount of time, we will be happy to provide you with such evaluation system.

Not all famous systems on the market feature the same accuracy.

Some other AFIS/APIS systems will show the real hits as candidate number 10 or 20 or 50. The lower the real hit in the candidate list, the MORE work you will have and less accuracy in the system you will get: A high accuracy system should show most latent to card hits (80-99%) in the position number one in the candidate list for database samples of 1,000 to 10,000, so you can be confident your people won't spend their time reviewing long lists of candidates for EACH single latent you process and you can be sure you don't miss matches (if they end up in position 25 or 50 or 100 in the candidate lists. ) Worse, some AFIS Systems will just completely miss on low quality latents (low number of points, poor images.).

Again, check the palmprint capabilities of all these companies that claim to have palm capability. Palm algorithms are very complex and we are confident the PrintQuest Solution will do the best job for you! Performance with Fingerprints is NOT representative of palmprint performance. Check this hit:

Can other companies companies do this?

A latent with only 6 points matched in a Database of 10,000 people, 20,000 palm images, returned as.

Candidate number ONE!

A latent with only 6 points matched

PrintQuest Certification

The software and hardware used for Scanning and Compressing images of Tenprint cards AND Latents must be certified to be able to send your data to the FBI (IAFIS) or to the state AFIS systems.

Some companies may offer EFTS interchange format, but if the data within the EFTS file was captured with poor quality equipment/software, then files prepared with such AFIS Systems are not FBI compatible and not interchangeable with other AFIS Systems.

Many low cost scanners are NOT certifiable. Our company is the only company offering a low cost AFIS/APIS with FBI Certified Scanner for BOTH tenprint card scanning (500 dpi) and latent scanning (1000dpi). We did not just start selling equipment ignoring FBI guidelines and rules. We picked the right Scanner (capable of meeting the tough 1000 dpi latent print scanning resolution requirement) and certified the hardware/software scanning module.

All PrintQuest™ AFIS/APIS Systems are delivered with FBI Certified Scanners and FBI Certified WSQ Compression techniques. EFTS Format input and output functions are included for interchange of data with other brands and IAFIS.

Carefully check what equipment comes from other vendors Do you want to spend 6 months to 2 years of efforts put in creating a database of tenprints and latents to find out later that all this data is NOT qualified for search in other State or Federal AFIS systems?