Have you ever worried that you were being spied on without knowing it? If not, you probably should.

A while ago I wrote about a new technology that can identify people by their heartbeats. Even the most skilled criminals and spies who have figured out how to con facial recognition software and fake their fingerprints may not be able to escape this technology. 

A new infrared laser device called the Jetson has been created that can detect a person’s unique heart rhythm. This technology works using a laser vibrometry to detect the movement of the heartbeat, often referred to as the cardiac signature. The laser vibrometry senses the vibration of people’s skin caused by their heartbeats. 

Cardiac signatures are more reliable than fingerprints and facial recognition because a heartbeat cannot be disguised or tampered with (at least, not yet!).

It is very difficult to mask a cardiac signature, even by taking medication. Although a person could use drugs or other means to increase or decrease his or her heart rate, the unique heartbeat pattern could still be detected.

Another advantage of using cardiac signatures to identify people is that it can be done from a distance, as far as 200 meters. As the technology advances, it is likely that this range will become even greater.

Currently, the Jetson boasts a 95% accuracy rate. 

Despite these advantages, the technology only works effectively on a static target. The lasers take about 30 seconds to make a reading which means a person must be still for this length of time for the identification system to work. 

Of course, devices such as Jetson have significant value for the military and other authorities for surveillance, but it could also provide important uses beyond security.

Some researchers speculate that doctors and other medical professionals could use similar technology to monitor a patient heartbeat from a distance, or could be used to detect a person’s heart rate for abnormalities as they enter a medical clinic to quickly determine if they are having serious heart trouble. 

It has also been suggested that the technology could be used to help marketing gurus by measuring how people’s heart rates respond to different advertising campaigns or products. 

Of course, in the wrong hands this sort of technology could have alarming consequences. For the 5% of people that are wrongly identified, the outcome could be damning.

With every new technology comes risk, especially technology that allows us to be spied on without ever knowing it. This kind of “invisible danger” fascinates me, and you’ll find references along these lines in my mystery and thriller books.

So… the development of identification using cardiac signatures? Is it worth it?

What say you? Do you think devices such as the Jetson are a good thing or are they an invasion of privacy?

How does all of this relate to Jack of Spades? Read to find out!

Meanwhile —

Caffeinate and Carry On!

Diane Capri

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