How your breath can be used for biometric authentication?

calendar_month December 23, 2022

Fingerprints and iris scanning have been used for biometric authentication for a long time. They are common features available on smartphones and use your biometrics for authentication. Scientists have now come with an innovative method of biometric authentication. Your breath can be used to authenticate you.

Breath and the olfactory sensor

Researchers working at the Kyushu University have created an olfactory sensor. This sensor can identify people by literally smelling their breath. To do this, the scientists created an artificial nose. The nose makes use of 16 channel sensors that can sniff out a person. The compounds in a person’s breath can be analyzed to identify them.

The sensor was used along with machine learning. When put to test, this artificial nose could successfully identify 20 different persons. It has an accuracy of 97%, which is significant.

The researcher team started by trying to understand the composition of a person’s breath. They found 28 different compounds that could be used for identification.

Breath as a biometric parameter

It is a known fact that fingerprints are unique to each individual and thus used for biometric identification. Similarly, the iris in the eye can be used. Researchers tried to create a new parameter for authentication. Initially, they tried to use the gas released for skin, but found it was not viable.

They found that the compounds in human breath can be expressed in parts per million. Also, breath has been used in the medical sector to identify diseases. Conditions like diabetes, COVID-19, and even cancer have been diagnosed using breath.

The array of sensors the researchers developed could identify different compounds. The machine learning then took over to study a person’s breath and use it to create their profile. The researchers carried out tests on different sample sizes and found the results to be uniformly accurate.

Using breath for smartphone authentication

Right now, using breath for authentication is at an initial stage of research. There is still more work to be done before it becomes a standard form of authentication. Subjects were asked to fast for a few hours before undergoing the test. In the next step they would need to test irrespective of diet.

The researchers are going to add more sensors to enhance the capability of the breath biometrics process. Once this is successful, then the same sensors are needed on a smartphone. This would take some time to implement, but the foundation has been laid. We at TrueID will be happy to bring in such latest developments in the space of biometrics. For more information, please reach out to