Spy Satellite Gait Analysis ID's You

Spy satellites may soon use gait analysis to identify you from orbit. According to Dr Adrian Stoica of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, video from space could provide enough data to confirm a person's identity.


(Spy Satellite Gait Analysis by Shadow)

According to experts, aerial shots of a person are not good enough to measure stride length and walking rhythm.

{Stoica} has created computer software that can seek out and recognise the shadows of individuals in aerial video footage, reports New Scientist magazine.

It isolates moving shadows and uses data on the position of the sun and camera angle to 'correct' the shadows if they are foreshortened or elongated.

Dr Stoica, who presented his research at a security conference in Edinburgh, said the software then applies regular gait analysis to the corrected images.

In tests on video footage taken from the sixth floor of an office building, the software spotted shadows and extracted information that could be used to identify someone.

Update 06-Nov-2018: Take a look at this reference to gait-cams in Cory Doctorow's 2008 novel Little Brother:

Gait-recognition software takes pictures of your motion, tries to isolate you in the pics as a silhouette, and then tries to match the silhouette to a database to see if it knows who you are. It's a biometric identifier, like finger prints or retina-scans...

End update.

From Could a spy satellite identify any of us from our shadow?; thanks to an anonymous reader for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/5/2008)

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Index of related articles:

Biometric security overview
Biometrics Glossary
Characteristics of successful biometric identification methods
Biometric identification systems
Biometric technology on the leading edge
Biometric identification - advantages
Biometric security and business ethics
Biometric authentication: what method works best?
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