I’m getting the picture

I’m not typically one of those people who takes perfect pictures. If I’m the subject, then I’m positively awkward, and if I’m taking the picture, you can count on having a weird look on your face and will likely appear about 10 pounds heavier than you are. In fact, it made my day when I heard about new consumer digital cameras by General Electric (GE) that have a built-in smile sensor and a blink detector. But what I was really thinking about was what that “analytics†technology could mean for the security industry and for business/organizational management as a whole. I mean, isn’t this smile and blink detection system really an element of facial recognition? If so, and if this recognition of expressions truly is ready for the consumer market place, then it can't be too far away for our professional security industry. I conjured up all sorts of theoretical applications that could be just around the corner. And don’t forget to smile as you read these…

Elementary school counselors could use Bad Bus Ride recognition software to decide which elementary students have had a bad morning on the bus, been picked upon by the bullies, lost their lunch box, and just generally need a helping hand.

Perplexed Buyer expressions detection tells when you need to ramp up retail customer service if the purchaser can’t decide between two items that seem to be about the same. Is there really any need for 100 varieties of toothpaste?

Astounded Customer Detection makes sure to get the car salesman over to you ASAP to explain that, yes, the $28,000 price tag is correct on the car you’re looking at that has cloth seats and a 4 cylinder engine, but on the flip side, it does have 10 cup holders and -- get this -- a cargo net for the hatchback!

Don’t forget good old Nervous Ned Spotter System. Installed at the exits of your building, it can spot the sweaty, nervousness of someone who just committed a crime in your facility.

And for more security applications, there’s the classic Pissed Off Terrorist solution. Terrorists look just like you and me except they wear belts of bombs and have scruffy beards. Spot ‘em by identifying that evil plotting look on their faces before they can attack your nation.

Smiling Security Participant detection can detect those people who seem to relish being stuck in a TSA security line at 6:30 a.m. heading out of Chicago when the flight’s about to take off. Why single out them? Because there’s obviously something mentally wrong going on inside their heads.

Or how about The Negotiator’s Friend recognition software that can read salesperson B.S. and the subtle facial expressions which indicate “I’m making these product specs up and our company could never deliver what I’m promising�

Yep, the possibilities are out there, but using consumer cameras to spot smiles and blinking subjects is a good place to start.