Outer Ear Authentication

The insides of our ears are a mysterious place for most of us. It turns out, however, that there’s more going on in there than we expected. In a study presented at the IEEE Fourth International Conference on Biometrics in September of 2010, researchers used a shape-finding algorithm to determine – with 99.6 percent success rate – someone’s identity by studying the shape of their outer ear.

The insides of our ears are a mysterious place for most of us. It turns out, however, that there’s more going on in there than we expected. In a study presented at the IEEE Fourth International Conference on Biometrics in September of 2010, researchers used a shape-finding algorithm to determine – with 99.6 percent success rate – someone’s identity by studying the shape of their outer ear. Using what they call the image ray transform, the researchers measured the tubular structures ear and the elliptical shape of its helix (outer-edge) for form a unique ‘ear print.’ Unlike facial scans and other forms of biometrics, researchers say the ear is easily accessed and relatively immune to variation due to ageing, making it a superior biometric.

(Image via the tbisaacs‘s Flickr photostream)

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