Biometric innovation takes top prize at Inventions Fair

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The Independent Online

A new form of biometric identification has been awarded top prize at the International Exhibition of Inventors in Geneva.

The system, designed by Spanish scientist Dr Celia Sanchez-Ramos Roda, could make biometric identification cheaper and easier.

Instead of scanning the retina (inside the eye) like traditional retinal scanners, Dr Sanchez-Ramos's invention photographs and compares more than 1000 points of the cornea, the colored part of our eyes.

The non-invasive machine and methods are, says the inventor, infallible, and can make an identification match in under a second. After commercialization, Dr Sanchez-Ramos believes that the potential uses include hotels, offices and banks.

The Grand Prize of the fair, awarded April 23, was selected by an 85-member international jury from thousands of new inventions shown at the fair.

The public prize, which was selected by attendees, was awarded to Swiss inventor
André Vernay. His invention is a special cap for automobiles, which prevents gasoline being put into the fuel tank instead of diesel.

The five-day Geneva International Exhibition of Inventors is one of the world's largest gathering places for new inventions and welcomed 785 inventors this year, despite flight disruptions in Europe due to volcanic ash.

The best represented countries at the exhibition were China, Iran, Russia, France (which benefits, among others, from the official patronage of the Ministry of Research and which has doubled the number of its exhibitors), Romania, Poland and Germany.