New body scanner could detect hostile intentions

Sept. 26, 2008
'MALINTENT' system currently undergoing testing

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 gadgetry that can read minds.

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 per cent accuracy on malintent detection and 80 per cent on deception."

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