Ear Scanning as a Means of Identifying People

Mark Nixon, a professor at the University of Southampton (UK), believes that the unique shape of each person's ears may provide a way of identifying dangerous people in airport security processes:

Professor Nixon and his team tested 252 images of different ears and found the system was able to match each ear to a separate image held in its database with 99 per cent accuracy.[...]

"Fingerprints are one of the best ways we have of identifying an individual at the moment," said Professor Nixon. "But on some people, even they are not so effective. Bakers and brick layers tend not to have obvious fingerprints as the distinctive whirls rub off.

"It is harder to do that with your ears, but there is one thing that can get in the way of the ears and that is hair. In reality, I expect there won't be a single approach, but in fact a combination of different biometrics that can be taken simultaneously to identify an individual."

Link via GearFuse | Photo by Flickr user AdamSelwood used under Creative Commons license

Previously: The REAL Reason Behind Silly Airport Rules

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Alphonse Bertillon developed and standardised the method - or collection of methods, some still in use - in the late Bibteenth century. So yes, Holmes (ie Doyle) was familiar with using the ear as ID.
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