- The Washington Times - Friday, February 7, 2014

Fingerprints and iris scans — those are so 2013. The newest security technology to hit the lines of passport presenters takes an entirely different tack: odor.

Scientists in Spain say they’ve created an “electronic bloodhound” that can sniff out the identifying qualities of one human over another. And, they say, in The Daily Mail, their system is so accurate and simple that it could one day replace fingerprinting and iris scanning.

“There are recognizable patterns of each person’s body odor that remain steady,” the researchers with the Group of Biometrics, Biosignals and Security, or GB2S, said in The Daily Mail. “Therefore, every person has his/hers own odor and this would allow his/her identification within a group of people at an accurate rate higher than 85 percent.”

GB2S is with the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and collaborated with Ilia Sistemas SL to develop the system.

“This result leads the way to improve personal identification that is less aggressive than other biometric techniques being used today,” the company said, The Daily Mail reported.

And touted uses: The technology could eventually be used in airport security lines to simply “sniff” travelers as they walk by, or at border control checkpoints, the researchers said. Moreover, the system could prove less intrusive than other security searches, they say.

“The development of new sensors that allow the capture of body odor can provide a less aggressive solution because the identification could be at the same time when crossing the system stall,” they said, in The Daily Mail. “Nowadays, our identity verification in most airports or border checkpoints is based on our physical resemblance to our ID card or passport photo.”

The inspiration for this new technology?

Bloodhounds, the researchers say.

“The ability of these dogs to follow the trail of a person from a sample of his or her personal odor is well known and [proves] that using body odor is effective [as] an effective biometric identifies,” the company said, The Daily Mail reported.