(Presented at the AutoID'02 conference)
Eric Metois, Paul Yarin, Noah Salzman and Joshua R. Smith - March 2002

Escher Labs' FiberFingerprint analysis uses the naturally occurring irregularities of paper textures in order to provide a reliable means to discriminate between various pieces of paper. The algorithms make use of registration marks as means to identify the area of the medium where the analysis should take place. These registration marks typically consist of a few small dots, spanning a total surface area of typically less that 10 mm2.

The practical motivation for this technology is security. Compared to a barcode, digital watermark, or other embedded serial number, the identity of a FiberFingerprinted object is difficult to forge, given the length scale and three-dimensional aspects of the physical properties being sampled. This paper considers the use of such random inhomogeneities for item identification, rather than simple authentication.

This paper was presented at AutoID'02, a workshop on Automatic Identification Advanced Technologies. It is available in the conference’s proceedings or you can download it here:

ffid2002.pdf (Pdf file - 367 kbytes)


We present an identification system based on the naturally occurring inhomogeneities of the s urface of paper. We investigate the scaling of its performance for verification and identification through a general and rigorous framework and present a random coding argument that links biometric identification to communication through a noisy channel. We measure the effective communication rate and information density for various configurations of the system.