#643: Physiogno-me

A fingerprint expert need only find around 16 similarities between a print at a crime scene and the one on your finger to be taken seriously in court when recommending your conviction.

Today’s invention makes use of the idea that fingerprints, for all their complexity, seem to differ from each other by only a relatively small number of features. This is true of diagrammatic faces too, so the idea is to map one’s fingerprints to a simple iconic facial representation of each individual. The distances between significant features in a print might then be used to draw a face, using them as dimensions between eg eyes, cheek-to-chin, eyebrow width, etc.

Such faces, although not provably unique to an individual, could be generated automatically from a fingerprint scanner and used as avatars. This would create a characteristic and recognisable representation, whilst also preserving online anonymity.

A system which insisted on working only with dimensions fed to it from a laptop scanner would make it hard for anyone to pose behind an avatar which was not their own.

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