Could A Wii Balance Board Fight Terrorism?

| 9 Oct 2009 15:13

The Department of Homeland Security has used a Wii Balance Board in a prototype of its Minority Report-esque physiological security system.

All the way back in January, we reported on the Department of Homeland Security's new security system under development called FAST (Future Attribute Screening Technology) - a Minority Report-esque technology which tracked minor physiological changes such as heart rate and body temperature to predict whether or not one was up to no good.

Building on the idea that a would-be terrorist wouldn't be able to stop from fidgeting (even the most minuscule amount), the FAST researchers have looked at incorporating a device like the Wii Fit balance board into their program. In fact, according to CNN, the prototype technology was, in fact, a reprogrammed Wii peripheral:

And there is an improvised fidgeting monitor. Researchers took a Wii balance board -- a device people stand on to interact with certain Nintendo Wii video games -- and altered it to show how someone's weight shifts. Studies are now under way to determine whether there is a level of fidgeting that would suggest the need for secondary screening.

A checkpoint screener would not look at the results individually, but would consider them together when deciding whether someone should be sent for questioning, Burns said.

I'm not entirely sold on this. Previous reports said that the system had success rates of over 80%, but fidgeting? I fidget all the time when standing in line, but last I checked all of my plans to blow something up seem relatively confined to playing as Demoman in Team Fortress 2.

It could always be worse, though. Imagine if they did actually use the Wii Fit technology in more ways than one: You get on the balance board, and not only does it tell you you're a potential terrorist, everybody else knows you're an overweight potential terrorist, too. Insult to injury, I feel.

(Via MTV Multiplayer)

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