October 12, 2010
Ears Overtake Retinal Scans as the New Fingerprintsby iona
Just a few weeks back, we brought you news of advances in retinal scanning that claim they will eradicate crime. Now it seems that eyes are out and ears are the way forward. Researchers from the from the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, England, have discovered that rather than eyes or faces, ears are the most reliable way to identify an individual. They have developed a technology known as image ray transform, which highlights the tubular structures of the ear and measures them. On testing 252 different images of ears, the team found they could match individual ears with 99% accuracy.Whereas other facial features change with age or according to the amount of make-up we slap on, ears contain a load of structures which are unique and change very little over time. Professor Mark Nixon, who led the research team, believes that ear scanning could be used at airport security, as passengers walk though security gates.
The British Home Office has said that whilst they welcome new technology, they are not considering the ear identification approach just yet.