Nose Scanning – A Revolution in Biometrics !


Until now an identity card with a photograph was used by various institutions in order to verify the identity of a person. But, with a high speed up-gradation of technology these identity determining procedures are getting obsolete and risk oriented as duplicating such identity cards is getting easier.

nose Scanning

With fast growing technology came safer scanning procedures like fingerprint scans to a more sophisticated iris scans to verifying a person’s identity. In iris scanning, a person looks in to a camera, which uses infrared light to map the iris of a person. Each iris is unique and contains diversified features which is more sophisticated than fingerprint marks.

Hold your breath! Now even a person’s nose can be effectively utilized in verifying the identity, as per a group of British scientists. Concerns about growing terrorism and illegal immigration, has prompted authorities to research deeper in to the biometrics to confirm identities of people.

A study from the University of Bath claims that unlike other conventional features used in biometrics to determine the identity of a person, nose scans could be a quicker and easier option. Nose features are harder to duplicate and disguise.

The photographic system used, known as PhotoFace, was developed by a team at the University of the West of England led by Professor Melvyn Smith.

The system takes 3D shape photographs of the person from various different angles. Later, the system breaks down the study in to a phased manner in analyzing the shape and sizes of noses and its various related features in relation to the face of the volunteer.

As per the study, they divided the nose in to three parts – the ridge profile, the tip and the ‘nasion’, the section between the eyes at the top of the nose.

One positive aspect about use of biometrical use of nose is that it can not be concealed easily while preparation of arbitrary data accumulation surveillance. While irises do form a powerful biometric tool, the data capturing can be difficult when obscured by eyelids, sun glasses and occasionally even caps.

‘Bio’ means human body and ‘metrics’ is measurement. Hence, Biometrics is use of verifying the identity of humans based on one or more unique physical traits but intrinsic in nature which do not change with time and growth of body. Physiological features commonly used as biometrical tools are fingerprints, iris recognition, palm geometry, etc.

With increasing terrorism, crime cases, illegal immigration and identity theft, nose scanning could prove to be of good potential for use as a biometric, with a good recognition rate and a faster rate of image processing.

Now, think twice before you poke your nose unnecessarily…You may be verified!! :)

  1. Altaf Rahman says

    Technology has come a long way. Earlier when camera was invented, ppl started using camera for identification. Then Finger prints, then Iris, then tooth and now nose.
    However use of machines for analyzing and determining has always has flaws. We have seen in movies, finger print scanners are duped by wearing false skins. As said above Iris scans may be faulty (obscured by eyebrows etc). I feel as long as we keep using outer features of a person to determine identity like Iris, nose, tooth, finger print ppl can always find a way to fool the machines. Only DNA can not be fooled but its high tech and costly. Identity on a large scale (like in airports, railway stationsetc) and legal institutions (like Banks, courts etc) requires cost effective and quick ways to determine the identity of a person. Once they invent cost effective ways to determine DNA, all Govts and institutions can use the technology effectively. Till then we go by trail and error or lets say the ‘most suitable way in the present circumstances’ not the ‘perfect way’

    1. Viral says

      Hello Altaf,

      As rightly pointed out by you that every technology has pros and cons. It all boils down as to how the new ones are more effective and convenient than the ones that existed before. Whether the new inventions are more fool-proof than previous ones? And, lastly, the costs involved in comparative analysis of both old and new technologies.

      Nice detailed comment by you.

  2. Viral says

    Very True Raj… Technology has always had 2 sides of it’s coin.

    Over here, the negative side of nose scanning could be the most talked about ‘Plastic surgery’ or ‘make-up’ of nose to influence its look patterns.

  3. Raj says

    As technology becomes advanced so does its misuse also. We need to make sure we develop equally strong ways to prevent misuse.

  4. Allwin says

    What? No more nose jobs for women ;)

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