If you thought the airport denizens of the TSA were already obnoxious, wait until they get their mitts on a Sick Traveler Detector. It’s a software idea by Belgian company Biorics, which can determine if travelers are sick by the sound of their coughs. If you frequently get sick after flying, you might welcome such an intrusive technique that singles out hacking, virus-spreading passengers.
The tech involves installing dozens of microphones around an airport security area or any public space, and running all the coughs they pick up through a special software algorithm that can tell the difference between a dry throat-clearing hack and a loogy-dripping, bubbling and wheezing honk, otherwise known as a “productive cough.”
In their patent application, the privacy-invading chutzpah of the inventors is astonishing, where they even suggest eavesdropping on cell phone conversations to glean their illness detection data. It’s a brave new world. Good thing they didn’t have this in Vegas after CES, or I’d still be there right now.