Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

" I think that computers today allow us one last opportunity to provide something like a level playingfield in America."
- William Gibson

Automated Sentry  
  A biometric device that scans facial features for identification.  

At this point in the novel, many people fear contagion. For this reason, machines that make use of face recognition biometrics are used in place of human beings; the automated sentry is a biometric identification system. Ironically, face recognition is probably the oldest means that humans have of recognizing each other.

The guard box stood empty. Something small and white moved back and forth behind smoked glass windows. A long steel tube jutted from the side. He used a handkerchief to wipe sweat from his cheeks and for head. The sweat was not just from the heat. He did not like this new role. He did not like secrets.

In particular, he did not like stepping into the belly of the beast.

Turner followed his gaze. "Nobody home," he said. "We still use people at the main gates, but here it's an automated sentry." Dakin caught a glimpse of a grid of purple beams scooting over Turner's face, then his own.

A green light glowed beside the gate.

"You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin," Turner said.

From Darwin's Children, by Greg Bear.
Published by Del Rey in 2003
Additional resources -

This is one of many places in the book where machines are used to sense danger. In a way, the automated Sentry is an analogy to the biological laboratory devices used in the story. The fact that "normal" people use mechanical devices to sense what other people are, and where danger is, forms an interesting counterpoint to the "virus children", who use their own capabilities to judge others.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Darwin's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Darwin's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Automated Sentry-related news articles:
  - UK School Face Recognition: Kiddie Orwell Tech
  - US Customs Now Doing Facial Recognition At DC Airport

Articles related to Security
Flimmer Navy Drone Flies And Swims
Indian Court Says Brain Scan Proves Murder
Background Draw-a-Secret (BDAS) Makes Graphical Passwords
ID-U Biometrics Eye Tracking Signature

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.





Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





More News

Solowheel Xtreme Heinlein Tumblebug Video
'The cadets 'stood to horse' alongside their poised tumblebugs...'

Algorithm Predicts Marriage Success (HAL 9000 Will See You Now)
'I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset....'

Denmark Island Earth (Verdenskortet ala Ringworld)
'They wanted to keep something of what they were losing...'

Humai Startup To Implant Your Brain In Robot Body
'The astounded onlookers saw a human brain snugly encased in a transparent skull-shaped receptacle.'

Blue Origin Reusable Rocket's Vertical Landing
We're getting there, one launch at a time.

X125 Snake-Arm Inspection Robot Video
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'

Super-Thin Smart Glazing Displays
'...a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling color.'

Have Scientists Found A Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours
'Ellis had found a weak point, a shimmer, at which another continuum completely had been visible.'

Active Wellness Smart Car Seat
'Maybe the car was right...'

Tech Tats Prototype Sfnal Devices
'...Permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.