Feeds

Big Brother Blue seeks biometric anti-terror patents

Tracks eyes, breath, aftershave

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

IBM has filed applications for a dozen patents that seek a whole new level of airport security.

Forget full-body scans, which are currently being touted as the Next Big Thing™ in security in the wake of the Christmas Day Nigerian crotchbomber. We can't even be sure they would have stopped him.

The IBM patent applications, turned up by InformationWeek's Alexander Wolfe, outline technologies that track you as you stroll through an airport, sniff you, check out what you're eating and drinking, scrutinize your attire, watch for "furtive" eye movements, and employ a host of other sensors.

That information is then fed to an inference engine that compares the sensors' data to a knowledge base and alerts security if its set of rules determine you might be a threat. And all of this will be done in real time - or, at least, real enough to nab you before you get on an airliner and activate your lethal underpants.

The core idea of the patents is to use a variety of sensors arrayed throughout an airport, both indoors in out. These sensors attempt to both spot suspicious activity and find already-identified suspects, matched to a knowledge base of possible terrorists.

IW details three of the patents. One, "Detecting Behavioral Deviations by Measuring Eye Movements," describes methods of tracking a subject's eye movements by a battery of cameras looking for "furtive glances, fixed and unblinking stares, concentrated focus, lack of focus, changes in pupil dilation, or any other unusual eye movements." If a subject's eye movements are considered sufficiently shifty, he or she would be identified "as a person of interest" and the gendarmes would move in.

Although the majority of the patent filing deals with identifying as-yet-unknown shifty individuals, the system's cameras could be supplemented with audio recorders and match images and sounds against a knowledge base of known suspects. The system could track a face, license plate, an identification badge, tattoos, scars, an eye's iris pattern, or its retinal pattern. It may also use audio data to identify a person's voice.

A second patent, "Unique Cohort Discovery from Multimodal Sensory Devices," takes the ocular-recognition technology to the next level by expanding the types of sensors to be used to infrared, chemical, biometric, and temperature sensors; motion, metal, and radar detectors; GPS receivers; microphones; photosensors; seismographs; and anemometers. This filing isn't limited to tracking folks in airports, but in all public spaces, including parks and stores.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.