An idea that stinks? Body odour as your biometric id

An idea that stinks? Body odour as your biometric id
Facial recognition, fingerprints and iris scans are passe - the latest biometric identification method on the block is, hold your breath, body odour!

Researchers at Spain's Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, in collaboration with tech firm IIia Sistemas SL, are developing a system that can verify people by their scent signatures.

Recognisable body odour patterns remain constant enough over time to allow people to be identified with an accuracy rate of 85 percent.

Researchers believe this paves the way for creating less aggressive ways to ID people than the intrusive measures currently being used, according to a press release by the university.

While iris and fingerprint scan may have a higher accuracy rate, the researchers contend these techniques are commonly associated with criminal records, perhaps making people reluctant to participate with the process. And facial recognition has a high error rate.

Therefore, the release said, the development of scent sensors that could identify a person as they walk through a system stall could provide less invasive solutions with a relatively high accuracy rate.

Researchers believe such technology could be used in airports, border checkpoints or anyplace where photo identification is required.

Security agents may have reputations for being gruff grouches who love nothing more than to nose through your bags, but their rotten tempers might be because of all the body odour they're forced to smell, day in, day out.

At least with a scent-detecting security system, someone else could sniff out the bad guys, the release added.

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Further reading: Science, Biometrics, Body odour
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