If you think the future is going to bring us all awesome hover boots, weird sexrobots, and spaceships capable of ferrying us to Mars, it's time you lower your expectations because the next big technological innovation rumbling down the airport terminal is (drumroll) body odor identification systems, which will be just like eyescanner identification systems or facial recognition identity systems only way grosser and more secure.
According to Discovery News, researchers at Spain's Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, collaborating with the firm Ilia Sistemas SL, are developing an ID system that can verify people by their scent signatures. You see, smelly reader, you — and every other human stinking up the planet — has a set of fairly unique body odor patterns. Nobody else smells quite like you, and those BO patterns remain so consistent over time that they (apparently) allow people to be identified with an accuracy rate of about 85 percent.
That's pretty good, according to the scientist/alchemists currently toiling away this smell project. Tracking body odor signatures would also be a less intrusive method for verifying someone's identity, perhaps making people less nervous than having an ocular robot needle-scan their eyeballs everytime they checked in for an international flight
While iris and fingerprint scan may have a higher accuracy rate, the researchers contend these techniques are commonly associated with criminal records, perhaps making people reluctant to participate with the process. On the other hand, facial recognition has a high error rate. Therefore, the development of scent sensors that could identify a person as they walk through a system stall could provide less invasive solutions with a relatively high accuracy rate.
The obvious drawbacks to this plan are 1) that it sounds like something invented in Idiocracy, 2) dogs will steal all the TSA jobs after TSA employees quit en masse, 3) deodorant companies will go out of business, meaning that we won't have any more Old Spice commercials, which would be fine except that former NFL players would have even fewer options for post-football careers.
Image via Getty