Thursday, March 26, 2009

Butt Recognition Software

The European Union dislikes the delays and inconvenience caused by security authentication procedures as much as we do, and is funding a project called HUMABIO to develop passive identity verification, just as if a person who knew you were watching you stroll into work, and looking in on you to make sure you hadn't been hijacked, without having to interrupt you. HUMABIO project is studying a broad range of biometric parameters, even brainwaves, to recognize individual signatures. Their idea is to use continuous monitoring rather than one checkpoint, and to have the authentication completely passive.

Right now they use headgear and and other sensors to take ECG and EEG readings, seat sensors to examine posture and body signature, cameras to analyze gait and facial recognition, and audio voice recognition. A side effect of the continuous monitoring is that it could also reveal behaviour changes caused by drugs, illness or drowsiness, improving safety even when no unauthorized persons are trying to gain access.

The idea of monitoring to prevent truck hijacking brings to mind the scene in Terminator where Arnie hauls the truck driver out of the cab, and throws him on the road, before driving off with the truck. I'm guessing the 'liquid metal' terminator that imitates what it touches is programmed to fake biometric parameters as well, but keeping up that deception would at least sap some of its processing power.

9 comments:

Paul said...

Where do you find this stuff? Will a system for aircraft be far behind?

Sorry, bad pun.

--paul

Matthew Flaschen said...

Interesting technology. I find the kind of holistic approach interesting. Obviously, many of these parameters are very sensitive so you need a complex algorithm to determine how much change is too much.

But if this is unobtrusive, I hope I don't live to see obtrusive.

dpierce said...

... the 'liquid metal' terminator that imitates what it touches is programmed to fake biometric parameters as well ...

You know, there was a scene in the TV series where a little girl sat in a T-1001's lap (thinking it was her mom), and said, "Your lap is cold," to which the terminator replied, "I know."

I guess they don't emulate body heat well. And I'm totally not a nerd for watching this show, or banally citing this trivia.

Phil said...

Yeah, hey, don't make me explain the 1000 series. I'll do it.

Anonymous said...

seems like overkill to me. If you wanted to prevent truck hijackings, simple fingerprint recognition is all you'd really ever need, that and a panic button.

But trucks really aren't getting hijacked and used to "evil" purposes all that often, and neither are airplanes for that matter.

chris said...

It'll never work.

How can I be so sure?

Think, for a moment, about the composition of a research organization that could devise and embrace such a tortured acronym.

:-)

townmouse said...

@Chris - From my experience of scientific grant proposals, almost as much thought and time is put into thinking up the acronym as is spent on those less important things like the budget. I very, very nearly got away with naming a project 'BUNNY' before common sense prevailed...

Sarah said...

@anonymous: If you wanted to prevent truck hijackings, simple fingerprint recognition is all you'd really ever need..

Your suggestion has one small but gruesome solution for the determined hijacker.

But trucks really aren't getting hijacked and used to "evil" purposes all that often, and neither are airplanes

Exactly true, but science follows the money too, and these days some of it is in "security". I'm in favor of unobtrusive authorization, but have a distrust of technology to accomplish this. At some point you just have to trust humans. Not metal.

Open the pod bay doors please HAL...

CYOW + CYVR said...

@Sarah:

In theory[1], high security fingerprint scanners can tell the difference between a live finger and a severed one.

The bigger problem for preventing hijackings in a biometric security environment isn't dealing with severed fingers but rather dealing with a hijacker who is holding a gun to the head of an authorized driver/pilot/etc. Detecting duress is a much harder problem--even for human guards--than detecting biometric forgery a la cadaver.



[1] I say 'in theory' because, in practice, Mythbusters managed to fool the best fingerprint scanner they could buy with nothing more than the equipment in their shop.