Researchers want your body odor to be your new ID

Body odor as a biometric identifier

Researchers at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid are currently developing a new form of biometric authentication based on personal body odor. The Group of Biometrics, Biosignals and Security (GB2S), with help from the Spanish engineering consulting firm Ilía Systems Ltd, hopes that its work can used as a novel form of citizen security while also being used in the realm of disease detection.

As the group reports, every person has their own distinct odor that stays steady most of the time. As such, a person’s bouquet can be traced back to them with an accuracy rate of 85 percent or higher. With that in mind, Ilía Systems created a sensor for smell detection. While it’s not as accurate an indicator of identity as, say, a bloodhound trained to track by scent, it is sensitive enough to detect volatile elements in body odor. Armed with this sensor, GB2S hopes that body odor can be used in such scenarios as airport security checkpoints and national borders.

Biometrics is making something of a comeback recently as a means of security and data collection — to say nothing of the iPhone 5S’ own Touch ID scanner. However, GB2S’ security ambitions might be undermined by the need for individuals to willfully give up their scent data in order to be scanned in the first place.

Source: The Verge


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