The shape of a person's ears could provide a new way of identifying people in airports following new research.
Forget fingerprints or the colour of your eyes, airport security could soon be looking at the shape of your ears when deciding whether to allow you into the country
Researchers have discovered that each person's ears have a unique shape and have created a system that is able to scan them. The scans can then be compared with a database of ear shapes to identify whose they are.
They hope that the system can be used to take pictures of a person's ear as they walk through passport control.
[...] researchers in the School of Electronics and Computer Science of the University of Southampton have come up with a means for identifying ears with a success rate of 99.6% (pdf). That doesn't mean it can identify who owns what ear at that rate, just that it can successfully complete the first step of any biometric identification exercise, known as enrollment. (Recognition is, of course, the second step.) If you're into algorithms, the way they got such consistent results is no less interesting than the potential applications of their work. [...]