I was looking up a rumour I heard about the New South Wales police when I stumbled across this. It is on a site detailing tenders put out by the
Sometime in 2004, Australia hopes to be issuing passports biometrically linked to the legitimate holder, with an embedded chip holding biometric
data for facial recognition, or possibly fingerprint or iris scanning, for live comparison with the person presenting.
Other biological identifiers include computerised facial recognition, palm prints, the iris patterns of the eye, audio visual speech recognition,
analysis of keystroke pressure patterns, signature recognition and even a Pentagon-sponsored radar system to check the way people walk ("radar gait
The radar gait signature interested me and I looked into further. It is fairly interesting in regards to many applications. Some scary, some amazing
uses for this technology are possible.
Some of the positive applications include medical diagnosis and early detection of some problems based on a change in, and a great way to study how an
individual walks. There is speculation it may help in keeping track of arthritis and osteoporosis in sufferers for example.
Some of the applications I am unsure about are unsettling, especially as the technology moves forward and becomes more advanced.
Imagine a world where not only is your face picked up by CCTV cameras where ever you go. No worries we live in that world already I hear you say.
But imagine you obscure your face to avoid Big Brother knowing your every move. This technology would make it possible in the future to identify you
by the way you walk.
This part is a long way off but it will happen.
At this moment it is mainly been invested in by security agencies to tell when someone may be walking suspiciously. Like repeated patterns in the same
space may indicate 'casing' a place for instance.
Here is a simple article about the security implications:
Some of it would be effective and useful to keep the populace safe, yet it also could be used by a government, security or military in an unethical
There is no consensus yet over whether ultrasound or microwave is better yet.
This research paper is for ultrasound
Though this one favours microwave
This one even favours infra red
However this is the most in depth and well explained (though very technical)
These papers span about eight years so this technology is still going through the research and development phase, still might be a long way off for
So to summarise this developing technology has it's pros and cons like most new tech.
I hope it just get's used for it's pros though.
Hope this wasn't too much to get through but it is very interesting if you do.