Monday, November 15, 2010

Can Your Ear Identify You Better Than Your Fingerprints?

Did you know that, just like fingerprints, the way your ears are shaped is unique enough for a computer to be able to match your ears to who you are? Check out this Wired article, which explains why it may be true.

Scientists have developed a new algorithm called "image ray transform," which, according to a study presented at the IEEE Fourth International Conference on Biometrics, has a 99.6% accuracy rate. There are, however, limitations, like hair covering your ears. Hearing aids aren't mentioned, but I'd imagine that they would pose a similar problem. Critics also mention a lack of proof that the ear doesn't change shape over time.

There is a demo here.

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