Report: Biometrics

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  Gait recognition

The fact that an individual's identity is expressed not only by the way he/she looks or sounds, but also by the manner of walking is a relatively new discovery of in biometrics.

Unlike the more fully developed biometric technologies whose scrutiny is directed at stationary parts of the body, gait recognition has the added difficulty of having to sample and identify movement. Scientists at the University of Southampton, UK (http://www.isis.ecs.soton.ac.uk/research/gait/) have developed a model which likens the movement of legs to those of a pendulum and uses hip inclination as a variable.

Another model considers the shape and length of legs as well as the velocity of joint movements. The objective is to combine both models into one, which would make gait recognition a fully applicable biometric technology.

Given that gait recognition is applied to "moving preambulatory subjects" it is a particularly interesting technology for surveillance. People can no longer hide their identity by covering themselves or moving. Female shop lifters who pretend pregnancy will be detected because they walk differently than those who are really pregnant. Potential wrongdoers might resort walking techniques as developed in Monty Pythons legendary "Ministry of Silly Walks" (http://www.stone-dead.asn.au/sketches/sillwalk.htm)

browse Report:
    Identity vs. Identification
-3   fingerprint identification
-2   Palm recognition
-1   Voice recognition
0   Gait recognition
+1   Other biometric technologies
+2   Biometrics applications: gate keeping
+3   Biometrics applications: physical access
Biometrics applications: privacy issues