[LINK] Airport security

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Thu Jan 21 08:36:18 AEDT 2010

At 04:00 AM 21/01/2010, stephen at melbpc.org.au you wrote:
>"Multimodal sensors comprises at least one of a set of global positioning
>satellite receivers, a set of infrared sensors, a set of microphones, a
>set of motion detectors, a set of chemical sensors, a set of biometric
>sensors, a set of pressure sensors, a set of temperature sensors, a set
>of metal detectors, a set of radar detectors, a set of photosensors, a
>set of seismographs, and a set of anemometers."

There are 3rd and 4th dimensional problems with this. If these range 
of sensors are in a single point, like an entrance gate, it would get 
a physical condition at the time of entry. The static aspects could 
be detected and analysed. Not sure what sound would do, though, 
unless they are thinking of a tick tick tick?? If they are thinking 
about recording conversations, that sort of pick up would be lost in 
the noise of a busy airport. There would be a huge challenge to 
single out any particular individual. It is highly unlikely in the 
near infinite space of an airport to catch culprits at the time they 
may be saying anything of worth to hear.

>Angell told me that the system can even use olfactory sensors, which
>means they'll smell the environment. The patent application also
>variously mentions license plate recognition technology, face recognition
>software, and retina scanners. Data captured from video streams from
>airport cameras is also analyzed.

Sounds like he picked up all the various types of research and 
claimed them. That's a bit rich. And the context is a bit off, 
combining things like retinal scans that require stationary placement 
of the individual. Smelling the environment would again be quite 
difficult to attach to a single individual. Possibly not in a gateway 
scan, but in a general population it would be impossible.

>Analyzing Eye Movements
>There is another patent application in the group which takes the analysis
>of potential passenger threats to a whole 'nother level. It's
>entitled "Detecting Behavioral Deviations By Measuring Eye Movements."
>(Patent application number 2009232357, filed September 2009.)
>(Friedlander is not involved in this patent; it's Angell and Kraemer
>only.) From the filing:

This one would be useful at a customs or passport presentation desk, 
possibly a check-in desk.

I'm not convinced and am glad it appears to be pretty pie-in-the-sky, 
at least at the moment. Otherwise "big brother" is truly here. It 
would be far too tempting, under the banner of "safety" in general, 
for governments of all persuasions to start spending scarce funds on 
these things in places like sports venues and nightclub districts. 
We'll be safe in the street, at games and in the skies, but where are 
we going to get the funds to pay for the robo-cops? [now I'm getting 
silly -- apologies]


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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