Researchers from Japan’s Kyushu University and the University of Tokyo have created an olfactory sensor that can identify individuals by analyzing the compounds in his or her breath.

With the potential for becoming a new tool for biometric authentication — joining fingerprints, iris scans, palm prints, and face and voice recognition, among others — the sensor can reportedly confirm a person’s identity based on the unique chemical composition of his or her breath.

Source: Kyushu UniversitySource: Kyushu University

As such, the team analyzed the breath of several volunteers, identifying 28 different compounds that could be employed for biometric authentication.

This data was used to create an olfactory sensor array with 16 channels, each of which could be used to identify a particular range of compounds. That sensor data was then passed through a machine learning system so that the composition of each person's breath could be analyzed and thus used to create a profile for distinguishing an individual.

Once the olfactory system was developed, the researchers tested it using samples of human breath obtained from 20 volunteers. According to the team’s findings, the system could identify individuals based on the chemical composition of their breath with an average rate of accuracy of over 97%.

The article, Breath odor-based individual authentication by an artificial olfactory sensor system and machine learning, appears in the journal Chemical Communications.

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