As technologies continue to develop, the question has been asked thousands, if not millions of times, “What will they think of next?” Every new invention awe and delights, and after many, we think we may have just now seen it all.
However, every day arises with even more hair-raising ideas.
Some of the most technologically advanced inventions of the era are those dedicated to identification. After all, security is everything these days, and our things must be kept safe.
Facial recognition is used at the airport, to unlock your smartphone, computer, or even your car. Your gate or the way you walk is measured, and tech is used to ID you based on your steps taken in any direction.
And of course, there is your DNA and fingerprints, which are used for everything from event ticketing to buying school lunches.
Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised when we hear of another way tech can ID you.
This new device has been developed by the Pentagon to use a laser to identify you by your heartbeat.
It’s called Jetson, and it can be used from about 200 meters away. That’s a little over 650 feet, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the metric system.
It is designed to use laser vibrometry to recognize minute surface movement caused by your heart on your skin. Like your fingerprints and faces, everyone’s cardiac signature, or heartbeat, is unique and different from anyone else’s.
However, unlike other body parts, your pulse cannot be altered or changed in any way. Thus, there is no fooling Jetson.
However, it does have some limitations, just like most other forms of biometric recognition methods. According to MIT Technology Review, Jetson needs about 30 seconds to lock onto your heartbeat signature and recognize the information.
While this might not seem like a long time, it does make it challenging to collect heartbeat info on a moving target such as when someone is walking.
For now, it is best used when someone is standing or sitting still.
It also only works if the person is wearing regular everyday clothing, such as a t-shirt. Jetson has difficulty getting signals through any much thicker material, like winter coats or parkas.
And just like your fingerprint, the technology only works if it has a database filled with heartbeat signatures to go off of.
However, when conditions are optimal, Jetson is noted to have over a 95% accuracy rating.
The Pentagon requested permission to begin work on this tech several years ago as it could be beneficial for surveillance and military organizations.
And while that means work has been completed on it over the last several years, it is noted that some improvements could yet be made.
It also has other possible uses than just for strictly identification. MIT, for instance, has noted that this technology would be efficient for use in the medical field, as it would allow doctors to check their patients’ heartbeat without ever having to touch them.
Hospitals could also continuously check vitals with Jetson. And who knows, maybe your phone will one day be enabled with this tech, making facial recognition, which has its flaws, utterly useless.