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Face scanner tells identical twins apart

An infrared scanner is used to analyse 40,000 data points on a face

Should Homer Simpson ever try to smuggle his unqualified identical twin brother into work in his stead, a new biometric identification system that will be used to secure nuclear plants is sure to prompt a "D'oh!" or three.

The technology, which comes from a Japanese firm called Sagawa Advance [Japanese link], is sufficiently accurate to be able to tell identical twins apart - a massive advance on current technologies.

Every pore analysed

It uses an infrared scanner to analyse 40,000 data points on a face before comparing the details against a database of people it already knows. If there's no match then access to power plants, medical factories and other sensitive areas is easily denied.

Sagawa plans to sell the scanner and database computer set for ¥6 million (£30,000) later this year, with a view to shifting 40 units in its first twelve months.