Body Odor Biometrics for Identity Verification
- By Ginger Hill
- Feb 21, 2014
Maybe it’s all the James Bond-type movies that most of us like watching that have given such a rise to the “coolness” of biometrics. Maybe it’s because several biometric techniques boast such low error rates. Whatever the reason, biometrics are really neat aspects of science that have greatly enhanced the security world, and body odor biometrics may be the next “big thing.”
At Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, a research group specializing in biometrics, biosignals and security have discovered that there are recognizable patterns in each individual’s body odor that remain steady, leading to an accurate identification of 85% or greater. Body odor can vary based on diseases, diet changes or mood swings, but after analyzing 13 people during 28 sessions, this group proved that there were recognizable patterns of each person’s body odor with a 15% error rate.
Guess this means that airport security officers will politely request passengers to start lifting their arms so they can get a whiff?
Not necessarily, although you never know. A sensor was developed that can detect volatile elements in body odor, and as someone walks past the sensor, their body odor is captured, much like that of a bloodhound. This process would also be less intrusive than say iris or fingerprint scanning.
So, what's your vote? Do you think body odor should be used to identify people?
After all, as they say, “The nose knows.”
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.