July 23, 2012

Forget Eye Scans, Try Foot Scans For Security Clearance

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

Feet may be the new way to grant high level security access by new developments of special shoe insoles.

A new lab is working on sensors in bio-soles that check certain unique features that feet have to offer, and are hard to fake.

The sensors being developed monitor the pressure of feet, monitor gait, and use a microcomputer to compare the patterns to a master file for that person.

If the patterns match, the bio-soles go to sleep, but if they do not, a wireless alarm message will be sent out.

It´s part of a shoe that you don´t have to think about,” Marios Savvides, head of Carnegie Mellon University´s new Pedo-Biometrics Lab, in Pittsburgh, told the Washington Post.

Autonomous ID has been a concept since 2009, with the goal of making relatively low cost ID system.

Todd Gray, the company president, said the company has already run tests on sample bio-soles with an accuracy rate of over 99%.

According to Gray, Carnegie Mellon will be broadening the tests to include people of all shapes and sizes.

"The continuing threats to military personnel and critical infrastructure and the growing national cyber security vulnerabilities demand a new breed of credentialing technology, and what our group has achieved certainly puts a whole new spin on things," he said in a press release.

Vladimir Polotski, the chief science and technology officer of Autonomous ID, will be providing researchers with the instructional technology intrinsic to the emerging science of pedo-biometrics.

"This new collaboration is a wonderful way to showcase our ongoing work in the emerging field of biometrics and our growing commitment to integrate innovative lab work with the needs of industry. It also offers wonderful opportunities for fundamental research in pedo-biometrics with potential applications in medical diagnosis, forensic science, privacy, security and automation," Vijayakumar Bhagavatula, a professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), said in a press release.

Savvides said the new lab will be housed at CMU and will complement Gray's work of using the iris of the human eye as a fingerprint to trap cybercriminals.

"As a researcher and a professor, this new frontier is exciting," Savvides said in the release. "There is really no limit to what can be done with this new identity technology; I look forward to beginning."