Mobile Contactless Identity Verification in the Application Field of Migration

The kick-off meeting on August 30, 2018 started the research project to develop an innovative technical solution for mobile contactless identity verification in the migration application field (acronym: MEDIAN). 


The research project developed in the context of the wave of refugees entering Germany during the years 2015 and 2016. This presented the police and other relevant authorities with new challenges as they struggled with the task of examining and identifying a large number of migrants and refugees. It is of particular note that some of the persons arriving wanted to have their asylum claims checked in the Federal Republic of Germany with or without fake ID documents.

In order to be able to verify claims of asylum and refugee status, but also to fulfill the state’s task of maintaining border security, the state must be able to clearly identify the migrants’ identities. There is a need for improvement especially in the area of mobile checks of information and documents. Sufficient technical support is not currently available for mobile identity authentication and as a result, affected persons have to be taken to police stations for their identity to be assessed and their documents verified. This is a very time-consuming and personnel-binding task for the police authorities as well as for those affected. Such identity verifications usually amount to a visual check of the identity documents, visual photo comparison and, if necessary, a query of databases and fingerprint comparison which, especially in the context of mobile police personal checks, cannot be done entirely on site.

In order to increase the quality of mobile identity authentication technology and thereby improve the control situation for all parties involved, the MEDIAN research project aims to develop a technical solution that can carry out all of the above-mentioned forms of verification of identity directly on the site of the police action, thereby minimizing the duration and invasiveness of the control situation.

The aim of the MEDIAN project is therefore to develop a technical solution that enables identity authentication for mobile use by police and relevant authorities. For this purpose, components for a fast and non-contact method of detection as well as an automated comparison of fingerprints or facial images are to be developed. At the same time, technologies for optical and electronic acquisition and control of accompanying documents are being researched. The collected data will then be compared via a secure connection with police background systems.

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It is of fundamental importance that the technical solution complies with current and foreseeable legal requirements and research is to be carried out into how the technical solution can contribute to improving the transparency and acceptance of identity verification of procedures by police. 

The project MEDIAN is a joint research project of Bundesdruckerei GmbH , IDEMIA Identity & Security Germany AG , Procilion IT-Logistics GmbH as well as the Free University of Berlin and the University of Applied Sciences Berlin. Associated partners are the Forensic Institute of the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation and the State Criminal Police Office Berlin

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Properties of the Demonstrator


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  • Multispectral lighting (UV-A 365 nm, NIR 890 nm, white light 400 nm – 700 nm)
  • SW camera with daylight cut-off filter for near infrared images
  • Color camera with near infrared cut filter for white light photography
  • Integrated color and geometry correction
  • Automatic white balance
  • Optical resolution > 500 dpi with 50% contrast and 20 cm object distance
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  • Data glasses or “smart display” for easy user guidance
  • Integrated PC for data processing with background connection via LTE interface
  • Encrypted communication with the background system
  • Light weight
  • Up to 8 hours of operation with one battery pack
  • Battery change possible during operation
  • Waterproof design

User Guidance

  • Simple operation through “common thread” for frequent applications
  • Integrated rights management with single sign-on functionality
  • Standardized user guidance and work processes controlled by criminal process and police law
  • Data protection-compliant data processing
  • Transfer of data for further processing (protocols, criminal charges, etc.)
  • Visualization and user guidance with data glasses or “Smart Display” on the arm
  • Readability in any lighting situation

Document Review

  • Electrical and multispectral optical testing with all common access protocols
  • Offline testing with local certificates
  • Comparison of electrical and optical data
  • Provision of the electronically stored face image for live face comparison

Mobile Fingerprint Capture

  • Detection of up to 4 fingers at a distance of about 20 cm
  • Data provision for background queries in an AFIS-compliant data container


Mobile Person Authentication

  • Quality-appropriate recording and evaluation of the facial image
  • Provision of data for background queries in an ISO-compliant data container
  • Comparison of the document photo with the live image


The project is funded by the federal government in the context of the program “Research for Civil Security 2012 – 2017.”


Civil Security Research Notice: “Civil Security – Migration Issues”

Total Funding

€ 2.7 Million

Project Duration

08/2018 – 07/2021

Project Partners

Bundesdruckerei GmbH, Berlin
IDEMIA Identity & Security Germany AG, Bochum

Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)
Berlin School of Economics and Law (Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin)

Procilon IT-Logistics GmbH, Taucha

Associate Partners

Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (Bayerisches Landeskriminalamt, München)

State Criminal Police Office, Berlin (Landeskriminalamt Berlin)

Project Coordinator

Uwe Rabeler, Bundesdruckerei