Identifying a human gait, walking patterns, running exists. Can such records be of value? Many think so. Why is this so important? Well every time Bin Laden is on TV no one knows if it is real or not. You cannot take a DNA sample, no retina scanning, fingerprints, well then facial recognition? Harder on video tapes at only one angle. Some ones gait could be viewed and downloaded by a sniper to decide if this is the correct target, although chances are it is best to kill all the doubles anyway, the fewer they have the closer you are to the primary targets.
We can certainly thank the movie industry and specifically the animation Gurus in Burbank, CA. Much of the differences in gait has to do with the knee and foot and the geometry associated with it. There has been much work on these ideas and many worthy projects and good information and of course science seems to mimic nature often and there is one modeling of an interesting creature of the Snake.
Now there are many issues with this for instance women wearing high heel shoes which boost up their nice toushy buns and extend their length and can screw up the geometry of their lower than knee areas of course this all depends on the exact length of their heels. Now some women have closets full of shoes and can literally wear a different pair every day, sometimes several shoes per day, Nikes or New Balance for Soccer Mom efforts, sandals and high heels for events. Also with sores on feet, carrying packages fumbling keys and carrying kids or other can screw up the data set for positive ID and for these reasons I am concerned about the current knowledge and ability to identify within reason the individual by gait. And having been an athlete in my prior life, I can tell you while running at different speeds I had many different strides. Also the degree of fatigue, shoes, soreness of different limbs. So this is good to study to teach PhD students to think, but really we have not yet figured this out yet, I fear it is not the best choice of identification, but could be used as a negative identifier. For instance that particular gait is not within the realm of possibilities of said individual.
However, in the future we should see where this takes us in the way of research, because this could in fact be a very valuable tool for Homeland Security.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs