Avances en el uso del olor corporal como identificador biometrico

Monday, 3 February 2014

Researchers of the group Biometrics Biosignals and Security (GB2S) in partnership with the company Ilía Sistemas, advance in the study of a new biometric technique that will identify individuals from their body scent.

The El Biometrics Biosignals and Security Group of CeDInt-UPM in partnership with the company Ilía Sistemas, has demonstrated through research that there are recognizable patterns in body scent that are kept constant for each individual. Each person has a unique scent that would allow for identification with a success factor of 85%. These results open new paths to enhance personal identification in a less invasive way compared to other present biometric techniques.

Today, identity verification on most airports or custom posts rely son the physical resemblance to the image on our passport or other ID document photo. Although the new electronic passport is difficult to forge, the use of biometric techniques based on physical features of the individual would increase the security of the process.  

Some biometric techniques such as iris recognition or fingerprint have a very low error rate; however, they are usually related to police methods what makes the process uncomfortable for certain people. On the other hand well accepted techniques such as face recognition have a much higher failure rate. Development of new sensors that can read the body scent of an individual offers a noninvasive solution as identification may take place as the person crosses an arch with the acquisition system installed.

Identification from body scent is not a new idea; the police have been using it for more than a century with help of specially trained hounds. The ability of those dogs to follow the trail of a person by a sample of his scent is well known and demonstrates the viability of the body scent as a biometric identifier. Although present sensors have not yet reached the sensibility of the hounds nose, in this study has been used an acquisition system developed by Ilia Sistemas S.L. with high sensitivity for detection of volatile compounds present in body scent.

Although body odor varies substantially by many reasons (illnesses, diet or even emotional changes), the work of this research group  on a sample of 13 people on 28 sessions on different days demonstrates existence of measurable patterns on each individual that remain constant and allow for identification with an error rate of 15%. These results are very promising for researchers as marks this new area of biometry a research line with a long span and possible evolution.

This particular work has been done on the framework of Project Emoción focused on citizen’s security, but spans to other areas and applications such as cancer or leukemia detection by breath analysis.


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