I had to get fingerprinted the other day at my local Police Department and I encountered some interesting technology. Rest assured, it was for recreational purposes only.
I've been fingerprinted for before. My work requires a background check and as part of the investigation your fingerprints get sent to the FBI. The last time I was fingerprinted a police officer came in with his trusty ink pad and cards. He rolled each finger in the appropriate box and you were left with a mess on your hands.
Today, it was a different story. First, the officer put my information into a computer. Instead of pulling out the trusty ink pad, he placed my fingers on a glass surface and then scanned my fingerprints. You still have to go through the same process where the officer rolls each of your fingers over the glass, but it's definitely less messy.
The only thing I was disappointed with is when you're done, the officer runs a fingerprint card through a laser printer and your prints get transferred to a standard form. Once they are sent to the FBI, they get scanned again for analysis. Wouldn't it be much easier to just transfer the images to the FBI directly? Maybe it wouldn't take 6 weeks to get the results back.