University of Southampton gets government funding for biometrics, cybersecurity

November 22, 2012 - 

The University of Southampton in the UK has secured a grant to launch a cybersecurity research center, and extend its study of biometrics.

The University of Southampton is one of only eight universities to have been named a “Centre of Academic Excellence” by the government’s cybersecurity scheme. As a part of its status, the University has secured an approximately USD$80,000 government grant to focus on cybersecurity, the BBC reported.

Part of this grant money will be put towards extending its existing study of biometrics and focus is being put on gait and ear recognition technology.

Professor Mark Nixon studies biometrics at the university and has built a biometric tunnel in his lab which contains 12 cameras to measure a person’s gait as they walk along and also to take pictures of their ears.
“We haven’t tested it on 60 million people yet, but the results are very encouraging,” Nixon said, quoted in the BBC article, noting that no two people have been found to have the same result and nobody has been able to replicate somebody else’s gait to the extent that it fooled the computer.

“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,” Nixon said, as we reported in in May. “This provides a cradle-to-grave method of identification.”

“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 makeup.”

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