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WeCU Mind-Reading Scanners For Airports

WeCU Technologies is building a mind-reading scanner that can tell if a given traveler is a potential danger - without the subject's knowledge - using biometric sensors.

WeCU Technologies (as in "we see you"), which is building a system that would turn airport waiting areas into arenas for Pavlovian behavioral tests:

The system ... projects images onto airport screens, such as symbols associated with a certain terrorist group or some other image only a would-be terrorist would recognize, company CEO Ehud Givon said.

The logic is that people can't help reacting, even if only subtly, to familiar images that suddenly appear in unfamiliar places. If you strolled through an airport and saw a picture of your mother, Givon explained, you couldn't help but respond.

The reaction could be a darting of the eyes, an increased heartbeat, a nervous twitch or faster breathing, he said. The WeCU system would use humans to do some of the observing but would rely mostly on hidden cameras or sensors that can detect a slight rise in body temperature and heart rate.

Science fiction writers have been playing with the idea of mind-reading machines for a long time. For example, you may recall the Veridicator from H. Beam Piper's 1962 novel Little Fuzzy:

There was a bright conical helmet on his head, and electrodes had been clamped to various portions of his anatomy. On the wall behind him was a circular screen which ought to have been a calm turquoise blue, but which was flickering from dark blue through violet to mauve. That was simple nervous tension and guilt and anger at the humiliation of being subjected to veridicated interrogation.

More recently, the Farscape series introduced the Aurora Chair.


(The Aurora Chair from Farscape)

The Aurora Chair was invented by Scorpius to extract information in lieu of less reliable conventional interrogation methods. Often referred to simply as "the chair", it is employed throughout the Peacekeeper military, both in bases and on starships, and is considered one of the most effective means of gaining information from unwilling subjects. The chair can painfully sort through its subject's memories, pushing farther and harder depending on the setting. It is designed to sort through and uncover the mind's "layers".

Hopefully, the TSA won't start sponsoring research into Aurora Chair technology...

From Raw Story; thanks to Moira for the tip and a reference on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/23/2010)

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Index of related articles:

Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS)
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
Behavioral Biometric Characteristic
Biological Biometric Characteristic
Biometrics
Biometric Data
Biometrics Algorithm
Biometric Match
Biometric Match Threshold
Biometric Sample
Biometric System
Capture
Common Biometric Exchange File Format (CBEFF)
Challenge Response
Closed-set Identification
Covert Sampling
Feature Extraction
Live Biometric Capture
Liveness Detection
Non-cooperative User
One-to-many
One-to-One
Open-set Identification
Overt Collection
Speaker Recognition
Spoofing
Template
Threshold
True Accept Rate
True Reject Rate
Uncooperative User
Verification

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