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I have a passion for science and mathematics.

Today I found an interesting story in a news feed from the online news. Much has been said about the merit of facial recognition. Now, a local researcher (Teghan Lucas) has proven the worth of the cheaper and more accurate alternative of identifying people from their body movements (and clothes do not present an issue).
So if you hide your face under a mask and wear a hoody and baggy trackie daks, you can easily be recognised from a database.

Teghan is seeking men from the Adelaide metropolitan area to be involved in body measurements and photographs. I’m not sure why women are not being included in the latest study.

Here are extracts from the news item.

Using data from 4,000 United States armed services personnel, a South Australian forensic anatomist has found that people are more easily and accurately identified by their body measurements than their facial features – even through clothing.
Teghan Lucas, University of Adelaide PhD student, says that ‘body recognition’, using just eight measurements, can reduce the chance of finding someone with duplicate measurements to one in a quintillion.
This technique would be useful for criminal and missing persons cases – and requires less data points than facial recognition to be accurate.
“There’s been a lot of work conducted over the years on facial recognition. This makes sense – humans have evolved to recognise faces, which is part of our survival mechanism, and the face contains some very distinctive features,” Lucas says.
“We ran the probability based on the findings from the sample. So what’s the probability that you’ll find someone with the exact same measurements as you when you’ve taken eight separate measurements? The probability is one in a quintillion – which is very comparable to DNA and fingerprints,” Lucas says.

The larger measurements provided by the body compared to the face mean that there is more variation between people. For example, in the sample used by Lucas, the length of people’s ears varied by only 35mm between the shortest and longest – whereas the breadth of hips in the sample varied by up to 150mm.
“That’s why the body is better – there are more options with a larger range. The more options you have, the less chance you have of finding somebody with the exact same traits.”

As part of her research, Lucas is currently seeking men from the Adelaide metropolitan area to be involved in body measurements and photographs. For more information or to participate, use the contact her at
This article was first published at The Lead.