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Forget fingerprints; earprints may identify the best

By Melissa Bell
President Obama's ear is uniquely his own. (Jason Reed)

What sets us apart as human beings, what makes us unique individuals, our own selves? Our intelligence, humor or spirit? No, it's the mighty ear. Okay, the tiny ear might not feel so mighty, but it is the most unique, unchanging part of the body, computer scientists at the University of Southampton say, and that discovery might change the way we identify people.

A new shape-finding algorithm called "image ray transform" maps the shape of a person's ear and boasts 99.6 percent accuracy, Wired magazine reports. "The outer ear may prove to be one of the most accurate and least intrusive ways to identify people."

The scientists behind the program do not intend for it to replace fingerprinting, facial recognition or iris imaging, but the new ear science can add another option when trying to identify a criminal.

By Melissa Bell  | November 15, 2010; 11:07 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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