Sunday, July 3

Breathing as a new form of biometric authentication | Digital Trends Spanish

A new step in biometric authenticationa could happen in the near future, as researchers from the University of Fukuoka in Japan are trying to get breathing to join the already classic fingerprints, eye iris and facial recognition.

In a report published in Chemical Communicationsresearchers from the Institute of Chemistry and Materials Engineering of the University of Kyushu, in collaboration with the University of Tokyo, have developed an olfactory sensor capable of identifying individuals by analyzing the compounds in their breath.

Combined with machine learning, this “artificial nose,” built with a 16-channel sensor array, was able to authenticate up to 20 people with an average accuracy of over 97%.

“These techniques are based on the physical uniqueness of each individual, but they are not foolproof. Physical features can be copied, or even compromised by injury,” explains Chaiyanut Jirayupat, first author of the study. “Recently, human scent has been emerging as a new class of biometric authentication, essentially using your unique chemical makeup to confirm who you are.”

One such target has been percutaneous gas, compounds produced from the skin. However, these methods have their limits because the skin does not produce a high enough concentration of volatile compounds for the machines to detect them.

So the team turned to see if human breath could be used instead.

“The concentration of volatile compounds from the skin can be as low as several parts per trillion or trillion, while exhaled compounds from the breath can be as high as parts per million,” Jirayupat continues. “In fact, human breath has already been used to identify whether a person has cancer, diabetes, and even COVID-19.”

Testing the system on breath samples from six people, the researchers found that it could identify people with an average accuracy of 97.8%. This high level of precision remained constant even when the sample size was increased to 20 people.

“This was a diverse group of individuals of different ages, genders and nationalities. It’s encouraging to see such high accuracy across the board,” explains Takeshi Yanagida, who led the study.

However, he admits more work is needed before it makes it to his next smartphone.

“In this work, we required our subjects to fast six hours before the test,” Yanagida concludes. “We have developed a good base. The next step will be to refine this technique so that it works independently of diet. Fortunately, our current study showed that adding more sensors and collecting more data can overcome this hurdle.”

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