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Biometric ID Tool Uses Laser Vibrometry to Detect Your Unique Heartbeat

June 20, 2019

Everyone has a unique cardiac signature, which means your ticker beats in a slightly different way than mine or anyone else’s. It’s this novel biometric marker that the Pentagon is using to identify people with an accuracy rate of 95% from up to 200 meters away — no need for fingerprinting, license or registration. 

The device, called “Jetson” is a modified version of an existing technology — laser vibrometry —  that uses infrared lasers to check the vibration of structures like wind turbines. Though Jetson currently will only work with stationary targets wearing light clothing, it does offer some advantages over other biometric identification tools at the military’s disposal.

Facial recognition, the most prevalent biometric identification tool, obviously requires a clear line of sight of the target’s face — difficult in many circumstances, including in low lighting. Other biometric identification tools include gait recognition and voiceprint analysis. 

A limitation of almost every biometric identification tool is that it requires prior knowledge of the target’s biometric data — and that goes for technologies as old as fingerprinting; if you don’t have the person’s fingerprint to begin with, you have nothing to compare it to. 

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