Study: How you walk can identify you

Oct. 10, 2011 at 6:29 PM
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LIVERPOOL, England, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The way people walk can identify them with almost as much accuracy as their fingerprints do, British researchers say.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool analyzed more than 100,000 pressure points people's feet create when they walk and came up with about 70 patterns said to be unique to any one individual, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The researchers said the findings could add another type of "biometric" identification in addition to retinal scanning and fingerprints at airports and in other security settings.

One present hurdle is that the technique only works if people are barefoot, they said.

"At the moment there is a key point when people go through airport security where they have to remove their shoes to walk through the scanners and so by incorporating pressure pads into the floor it would be possible to identify individuals." Liverpool electrical engineer John Goulermas said.

Researchers were hoping to refine the technique so it would work when people are wearing shoes, he said.

"This is more complicated as the stiffness of the sole and the treads can change things, but it should still be possible."

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