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'Jetson' is a Pentagon laser that can identify people by heartbeat

By Cal Jeffrey · 6 replies
Jun 27, 2019
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  1. MIT Technology Review reports that the Pentagon now has a prototype infrared laser that can identify people by their heartbeat. It is called “Jetson” and uses laser vibrometry to detect movements on the surface of the skin caused by a person’s pulse. It even works from as far as 200 meters away.

    If you grew up reading Daredevil comic books, you already know that everyone’s heartbeat is unique, which is how the super-powered blind Matt Murdock was able to identify people. Jetson works similarly.

    By detecting a person’s heartbeat, then comparing it to a database, the laser can ID someone with 95-percent accuracy in optimal testing conditions. Of course, the most significant advantage is that it cannot be fouled up like facial recognition and fingerprint sensors since a heart rhythm can't be duplicated or changed.

    “Compared with face, cardiac biometrics are more stable and can reach more than 98% accuracy,” Wenyao Xu of the State University of New York at Buffalo, who has also developed a cardiac sensor that uses radar from up to 20 feet away.

    "Existing long-range facial recognition [systems] suffer from acquiring enough pixels at a distance to use the face matching algorithms."

    There are some caveats though. While the laser can detect a heartbeat from a distance on bare skin or through thin material like a tee shirt, thicker clothing like a jacket makes it ineffective. The system also needs about 30 seconds to create a good enough profile for analysis. The subject must be still during that time as well.

    According to some 2017 documents from the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO), Jetson has been in development for several years, and it is looking to decrease response time down to under five seconds.

    "Existing long range biometric methods that rely on facial recognition suffer from acquiring enough pixels at a distance to use the face matching algorithms and require high performance optics to acquire visual signatures at significant distances," said the CTTSO. "The Jetson effort being developed by Ideal Innovations, Inc. is a ruggedized biometric system that will capture cardiac signatures to aid in the positive identification of an individual at a distance up to 200 meters and within five seconds."

    The Pentagon is looking at if for military and surveillance applications, but there are several practical and commercial possibilities as well.

    As previously mentioned, such technology could be used as a biometric solution for mobile devices. In fact, Apple has been looking into similar technology since at least 2010. It could also be used in medical and clinical situations. Wireless heart monitors are a possibility as are stethoscope-free checkups with your doctor. Badge-less entry systems for secured buildings would be another use case.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,821   +2,665

    I hope I don't live long enough to witness the nightmare future these psychotic nations and companies are creating. Better yet, I hope that we all join together to thwart these technologies and demand their use be severely restricted. Step one is to never, never, EVER provide your biometric data to anyone unless there's a court order involved.
     
    Nobina, Andromadus and wiyosaya like this.
  3. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,189   +2,475

    I could not agree more!

    I think there is a growing awareness of things like this. The thing will be to get enough voices on board and then determining a path forward that is acceptable to all.
     
    Andromadus likes this.
  4. PEnnn

    PEnnn TS Addict Posts: 141   +115

    Sounds like lots of mighty and bold claims are being made...

    "By detecting a person’s heartbeat, then comparing it to a database, the laser can ID someone with 95-percent accuracy in optimal testing conditions"

    A database? And how will they get all that data??
    And what if a person's heartbeat is a bit faster than usual (there are dozens of reasons for this to happen, heck, some caffeine will do!)

    Simply pathetic.
     
    nismo91 and Andromadus like this.
  5. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 947   +453

    Saddest thing is that right now there are countries that wont even express the need to limit and regulate this tech, they would start using it on their people as soon as they can create/steal it from someone.
    Btw, any TS writer wanna do in depth paper on how China makes the country "safer" again?
    What tech they use, where and how many walls they got, etc.
     
  6. Digitalzone

    Digitalzone TS Booster Posts: 101   +47

    The creators of first nuclear weapons were at least partly disconcerted by the possible consequences, why I feel like these guys are literary into "1984 made true"?
     
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,667   +4,020

    There is so much technology that is really impressive and useful but I'm still waiting for the one that you can aim at a politician, boss, or some other authoritarian subject and have it clearly indicate a lie. Something with flashing lights, a big horn, takes a picture and immediately posts it to the web with LIAR posted under it. Granted, anything from Washington will form a constant stream but come election day it might just cause more people to pay closer attention before they cast that all important VOTE .......
     
    Mikael_r likes this.

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