Researchers at the University of Bath, UK, may have found another means of biometrics identification. They scanned noses in 3D and categorized them by tip, ridge profile and the nasion, or area between the eyes. The researchers say there are six main nose types: Roman, Greek, Nubian, hawk, snub and turn-up. And since they are hard to conceal, the study says, noses would work well for identification in covert surveillance.

"Noses are prominent facial features and yet their use as a biometric has been largely unexplored," the BBC quoted Dr Adrian Evans, from the University of Bath, as saying. "Ears have been looked at in detail, eyes have been looked at in terms of iris recognition but the nose has been neglected," he said. The researchers used a system called PhotoFace, developed by researchers at the University of the West of England in Bristol, for the 3D scans. The computer models the face so the nose can be analyzed in detail, and several measurements by which noses can be recognized were identified and the team developed recognition software based on these parameters. "This initial work is nowhere as good as iris identification but the nose has pros and cons," Dr Evans said. The research is based on a study of 40 noses, and the database has now been expanded to 160 for further tests to see if the software can pick out people from a larger group and distinguish between relatives.