Body scanner capable of detecting “hostile intent”
Technology that aims to detect devices like guns or explosives at airports could soon be a passe, for scientists are to unveil a new type of screening gadget that can read people’s mind.
A team is testing a type of body scanner that uses a technology capable of detecting “hostile intent” – in fact, it can seek out invisible clues that one might be harbouring criminal intent, such as raised body temperature, pulse and even breathing rate.
According to the scientists, the system ‘MALINTENT’ uses a raft of “non-invasive” sensors and imagers to detect and evaluate a person’s facial expression to gauge whether he could be planning to commit an attack or crime. And, if the sensors pick up anything considered alarming, analysts can decide whether to subject a person to questioning.
The technology, developed by the Human Factors Division of US Homeland Security’s Directorate for Science and Technology, would be used at border checkpoints, airports and special events that require security screening, the Daily Telegraph reported.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the technology, dubbed Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, deploys a range of “innovative physiological and behavioural technologies” to pick up “indications of malintent or the intent or desire to cause harm”.
But, spokesman John Verrico said: “We’re still very early on in this research, but it is looking very promising. We are running at about 78% accuracy on malintent detection and 80% on deception.”
Homeland Security recently conducted a field test in Maryland, scanning 144 mostly unwitting human subjects. While the 144 test subjects thought they were merely passing through an entrance way, they actually passed through a series of sensors that screened them for bad intentions.
The department also selected a group of 23 attendees to be civilian “accomplices” in their test, each of whom was given a “disruptive device” to carry through the portal. Unlike the other attendees, they were conscious of being on a mission.
Experts behind the project insist that even if a person sweats heavily by nature, the system will not mistake him/her for a baddie.
Via The Times