Surreptitious Lie Detector
According to The New Scientist:
THE US Department of Defense has revealed plans to develop a lie detector that can be used without the subject knowing they are being assessed. The Remote Personnel Assessment (RPA) device will also be used to pinpoint fighters hiding in a combat zone, or even to spot signs of stress that might mark someone out as a terrorist or suicide bomber.
"Revealed plans" is a bit of an overstatement. It seems that they're just asking for proposals:
In a call for proposals on a DoD website, contractors are being given until 13 January to suggest ways to develop the RPA, which will use microwave or laser beams reflected off a subject's skin to assess various physiological parameters without the need for wires or skin contacts. The device will train a beam on "moving and non-cooperative subjects", the DoD proposal says, and use the reflected signal to calculate their pulse, respiration rate and changes in electrical conductance, known as the "galvanic skin response". "Active combatants will in general have heart, respiratory and galvanic skin responses that are outside the norm," the website says.
The DoD asks for pie-in-the-sky stuff all the time. For example, they've wanted a synthetic blood substitute for decades. A surreptitious lie detector would be pretty neat.
Posted on January 20, 2006 at 12:37 PM • 37 Comments