According to Technology Review, a prototype device called AIRprint, developed by Advanced Optical Systems, can scan fingerprints from up to two meters away.
The device detects fingerprints by shining polarized light onto a person's hand and analyzing the reflection using two 1.3 megapixel cameras configured to detect different polarizations.
Joel Burcham, director for projects at AOS, says individuals could simply hold up a hand and walk toward a security door while the device checks their identity.
At present, the scanner can only handle one finger at a time, which it scans in 0.1 seconds and processes it in about four seconds. Burcham says the device should be able to scan five fingers at once, with a proccessing time of less than a second.