If you're in a crowd, it doesn't take long to notice that people walk differently. A recent study suggests each person's gait is supposedly so distinctive that their way of walking could be used for identification purposes.
Led by Todd Pataky, a team of researchers at Shinshu University in Japan looked at walking characteristics like heel strike, roll to forefoot and push-off in 104 volunteers. They found that footstep patterns identified each person with 99.6% accuracy. It's almost as sensitive as a fingerprint.
The researchers note that this is an early study and they only examined people walking barefoot. It's not known whether these unique walking patterns occur when people are walking with shoes. The researchers also point out that someone who wants to remain anonymous can easily alter their way of walking by changing how they move their feet.[Discovery; Image from Pichugin Dmitry/Shutterstock]