May 29, 2012 -
Research into ear biometrics by University of Southampton professor Mark Nixon has raised new potential for security systems.
Nixon believes that using photos of individual ears matched against a comparative database could be as distinctive a form of identification as fingerprints.
Nixon noted: “Using ears for identification has clear advantages over other kinds of biometric identification, as, once developed, the ear changes little throughout a person’s life. This provides a cradle-to-grave method of identification.”
Nixon and his research colleagues believe that this form of non-contact identification could have a possible application in security systems.
“During walkthroughs at security checkpoints cameras could digitally photograph passers-by comparing their ears against others in a database. Used in combination with face recognition, ear recognition offers a second point of comparison in cases where all or part of a face might be obstructed, for example, by make-up,” he said.
“Keeping images of ears, as opposed to faces, might also raise fewer privacy concerns,” he added.
Will using ears for biometric identification ever become popular?