In a broad sense the technology is designed to detect emotions across the spectrum: agitation, excitement, happiness, sadness, whatever. The upshot from a security perspective is that it can function as a de facto automatic lie detector. High definition video cameras pick up on twitches and eye movements, thermal imaging cameras read temperature changes, and everything adds up to whether someone is trying to lie.
Some airport in Britain - officials haven't bothered to reveal which oneis about to get these upgraded machines. The system only works 60-70 percent of the time, so right now they're going to function as a kind of a screen at passport and customs. If the machines think someone is lying that person will get pulled aside for further scrutiny. Creepy but nothing too bad.
But consider how TSA is moving toward Israeli-style securitywhich involves throwing personal questions at passengers to trip them upand you get a sense for where this technology is heading. Oh - and on our side of the Atlantic the Defense Department is also working on the same technology, except it's handheld. We're not too far away from the day where an agent questions you while a machine watches you from above, and both of them know who you are and exactly what you're thinking. Good times, right?
[Photo: Daily Mail]