| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Innovation & Startups

CMU's new Pedo-Biometrics Lab--your feet say more about you than a fingerprint

When it comes to the science of identifying who we are, our feet are uniquely suited to the purpose.
Ottawa-based Autonomous ID has partnered with CMU and has invested $1.5 million a year to establish a Pedo-Biometrics Research and Identity Automation Lab here. The lab, to be located on campus, will expand the university’s research in the field of biometrics beyond the study of the iris to our feet.
Pedo-Biometrics represents a new frontier in the field, an area of research that has been developing scientific techniques over time to identify that we humans are, in fact, the people we say we are. Traditionally the identification has been done through fingerprinting or scans of the iris, explains Marios Savvides, Electrical and Computer Engineer at CMU.
Scientists have known for years that feet, as well as gait, are unique to each person. Sensors placed in the soles of shoes can check the pressure of the feet, monitor the gait and a create a master file that identifies each person. These changes can also be monitored as we age.

Monitoring aspects of the foot may also prevent or assist in the diagnosis diseases such as diabetes,  Parkinson’s and dementia, says Savvides.
A sole insert can more easily facilitate the identification process in high security situations. Entering into a monitored and secure area, such as a military base or nuclear power plant, could be as easy as a car passing through an EZ-Pass exchange on the Turnpike, says Savvides.
The lab will develop a prototype for Autonomous ID, which has been working since 2009 to create an inexpensive ID system.
“This new frontier is very exciting,” says Savvides. “Looking at both the biometric side and the biomedical side and how they work together is the really exciting part.”

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Marios Savvides, CMU
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts

Related Content