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"It was [H.G. Wells'] adolescent fiction, his imaginative stories, that live forever - and yet are not acknowledged in literature classes as being great literature. So to hell with the academics!"
- Greg Bear

Cephalic Sniffer  
  Device can locate an individual using brain patterns.  

It was easy to see how she had traced him; modern detection devices were available and cheap. Mary had probably gone to a pry-vie, a robot detection agency, obtained the use of a sniffer, presented it his cephalic pattern; it had gone to work, following him to every place he had been since leaving her. Nowadays, finding someone was an exact science.
From Clans of the Alphane Moon, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1964
Additional resources -

I also liked Roger Zelazny's treatment of this idea in his award-winning 1967 novel Lord of Light; see the mechanical cobra.

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