Gait-way to biometric success?

So last year I set up a slightly unusual lunch appointment with a buddy of mine.  You see, he doesn't live in my area but he actually had a court date near where I work.  So I was like, "Hey, give me a call when you get out of court and we'll do...


So last year I set up a slightly unusual lunch appointment with a buddy of mine.  You see, he doesn't live in my area but he actually had a court date near where I work.  So I was like, "Hey, give me a call when you get out of court and we'll do lunch."  He agreed and so our plan was set.

One thing complicating the matter was the fact that my buddy doesn't have a cell phone.  So when the day arrived and he got out of court, he gave me a call from the courthouse's pay phone to say that he was on his way over to where I work.  The directions from the courthouse to where I work are simple, and I gave them to him.  However, he didn't show up when I thought he would...

When what I thought would be a three-minute wait turned into twenty, I became concerned.  I was waiting in my car in the parking lot and didn't see him anywhere.  With him not having a cell phone, there didn't seem like much I could do but wait. 

Then, finally, across the parking lot I saw someone walking out of my building.  I couldn't be sure who it was, but one thing I did know was that this guy walked like my buddy.  I had never thought about it before, but I felt very strongly that I recognized the way he walked (i.e. his "gait").  So I got out of my car and, in what I thought was the top of my lungs, yelled out his name from about 30 to 40 yards away.

The person just kept walking, seemingly ignoring me.

I felt kinda stupid as I sat back down in my car.  Despair set in.  It was looking like this lunch wasn't going to happen after all. 

To make a long story short, about 10 minutes later we finally connected and, as it turns out, he had been the person I saw walking out of my building.  I had indeed recognized his gait.

I suppose the moral of this story (aside from the usefulness of cell phones) is that when it comes to using a person's gait as a biometric, I think it has potential.  We all have a unique gait, although common sense seems to indicate that our gait would be one of the easiest things for us to alter (as opposed to altering our eyes or hands).  Furthermore, my guess is that checking a person's gait would have to be used to supplement other biometrics.  In other words, it couldn't be "standalone."  (Yes, that pun was intended.  Sorry.) 

Here on SIW you can read about how scientists are currently testing and refining this new technology.  We'll see how it develops... 

-Greg