Can your phone identify you through your breath?
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According to a report published in chemical communication.
According to the report, researchers from the Institute of Chemical and Materials Engineering at Kyushu University in collaboration with the University of Tokyo developed an olfactory sensor that can identify people by analyzing breathing.
Study first author Chaiyanut Jirayupat said, “Recently, human smell has emerged as a new breed of biometric authentication that essentially uses unique chemicals to identify who you are.
The ‘artificial nose’ is equipped with a 16-channel sensor and tested up to 20 people with an average accuracy of 97.8%.
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The researchers noted that current technology relies on biometric authentication, typically done via voice, fingerprint, palm print and face. In some cases, the acoustics of the ear and finger veins are used to protect the safety of personal property, the study authors said in the report.
“These techniques depend on the physical uniqueness of each individual, but are not without error. Injuries can replicate or compromise physical properties,” Jirayupat said in the release, which is one of the reasons the team looked at other means of biometric authentication. .
Investigators have looked at gaseous compounds produced by individuals’ skin, but say they are limited because their skin doesn’t produce enough compounds for machines to detect. This led the team to investigate whether breathing people could be a viable option.
“Volatile compound concentrations in the skin can be as low as billions or trillions, while exhaled compounds can be as high as parts in millions,” Jirayupat explained in a statement. The study authors also said in the report that a person’s breathing is currently being used to determine whether a person has certain diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and even COVID-19.
Researchers have developed an olfactory sensor that can identify a specific range of compounds. They analyzed the participants’ breathing and determined that 28 compounds derived from human breath could be used for biometric authentication. According to the release, the sensor data was fed into a machine learning system that analyzes each subject’s breathing composition and develops a profile to identify the individual.
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The team tested breath samples from 6 people and then a larger sample from 20 people.
The results consistently showed that individuals could be identified with an average accuracy of less than 98% in both sample groups.
“It was a diverse group of individuals of different ages, genders and nationalities. Takeshi Yanagida, who led the study, said in a statement:
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In this study, subjects fasted for 6 hours before being tested. “The next step is to improve this technology so that it works regardless of the diet,” Yanagida said in a statement. Fortunately, our current research shows that adding more sensors and collecting more data can overcome this hurdle. »
But if you’re looking forward to this option on your next smartphone, don’t hold your breath. The study’s authors said more work is needed before smartphones arrive on devices.