Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"[Science fiction] has become big business, where books are merchandised and promoted and distributed and placed on sale like slabs of bacon or cans of soup."
- Frederik Pohl

Truth Meter  
  A lie detector.  

At this point in the novel, the "victims" of the star beast's walk through town are being examined in court under the close scrutiny of a truth meter.

"Mrs. Donahue, tell us what happened."

She sniffed. " Well! I was lying down, trying to snatch a few minutes rest; I have so many responsibilities, clubs and charitable committees and things.

Greenberg was watching the truth meter over her head. The needle wobble restlessly, but did not kick over into the red enough to set off the warning buzzer.

"When suddenly I was overcome with a nameless dread."

The needle swung far into the red, a ruby light flashed and the buzzer gave out a loud rude noise. Somebody started to giggle. Greenberg said hastily, "Order in the court."

From The Star Beast, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1954
Additional resources -

The National Academy of Sciences was charged in 2002 with conducting a scientific review of the lie detector. They concluded

"Almost a century of research in scientific psychology and physiology provides little basis for the expectation that a polygraph test could have extremely high accuracy... The inherent ambiguity of the physiological measures used in the polygraph suggest that further investments in improving polygraph technique and interpretation will bring only modest improvements in accuracy."
The modern lie detector was invented by Dr. William M. Marston in the 1917. The machine was also called a polygraph - literally "many writings", referring to the method of recording several physiological responses at the same time. He also wrote under the pen name Charles Moulton - creating the Wonder Woman comic strip. Wonder Woman, as you may recall, had a magic lasso that caused anyone she caught with it to tell the absolute truth.

For another view of the same idea, see the Veridicator, from the wonderful novel Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Star Beast
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to The Star Beast
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Truth Meter-related news articles:
  - Indian Court Says Brain Scan Proves Murder
  - Brain Scan Used In Murder Trial Sentencing

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.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

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

Humanoid Robot's Muscles Biomimic Ours
'It is remarkable that the long leverages of their machines are in most cases actuated by a sort of sham musculature...'

Animatronic Robotic Baby Exposed
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'

Beijing HaiDiLao Robotic Hotpot Restaurant Now Flavored By Artificial Intelligence
'Kantos Kan led me to one of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus.'

Plants of the Future - What Should They Be Like
'He almost choked in his astonishment. Mashed potatoes and brown gravy!'

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.