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"The whole problem of energy sources is going to be solved by little solutions, not by some big new piece of technology that does everything. We got into this crisis by believing that we had one big piece of technology that would do everything (oil)."
- Gregory Benford

Bloodhound Machine  
  Could positively identify a person using their scent alone.  

2XZ4 —the man wanted for a score of crimes, from murder up to treasonable plotting. 2XZ4 had never been arrested, never been typed. But we had his olfactory classification; the Bloodhound Machine, as the newscasters luridly call it, had contacted his trail several times, so that the scent of him was mathematically known.

Much good that did us! No one knew where he was now; nor what was his name, his nationality, nor what he looked like. Indeed we knew nothing about him at all, except his scent, which gave him the index-symbol 2XZ4.

From Crimes of the Year 2000, by Ray Cummings.
Published by Fantastic Mysteries in 1935
Additional resources -

Here's how it works:

I turned swiftly and whipped out the little classified—the Bloodhound Machine.

I thought that Green was not watching me, but at once he gasped: "What—you doing?"

I did not answer, but jumped suddenly and pressed the vacuum cup of the classifier against his shoulder. The dial indicators swung wildly, and instantly settled.

2XZ4!

Compare to the olfactory system of the Mechanical Hound from Fahrenheit 451.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Crimes of the Year 2000
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Cummings
  Tech news articles related to Crimes of the Year 2000
  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Cummings

Bloodhound Machine-related news articles:
  - Your 'Odortype' Is Unique!

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