Biometric authentications like fingerprint and iris scans are a staple of any spy movie, and trying to circumvent those security measures is often a core plot point. But these days the technology is not limited to spies, as fingerprint verification and facial recognition are now common features on many of our phones. Now, researchers have developed a new potential odorous option for the biometric security toolkit: a person’s breath. In a report published on May 20, 2022 in Chemical Communications, researchers from Kyushu University's Institute for Materials Chemistry and Engineering, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Tokyo, have developed an olfactory sensor capable of identifying individuals by analyzing the compounds in their breath. The open-access article is titled “Breath Odor-Based Individual Authentication by an Artificial Olfactory Sensor System and Machine Learning.” Combined with machine learning, this “artificial nose,” built with a 16-channel sensor array, was able to authenticate up to 20 individuals with an average accuracy of more than 97%.
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