Pentagon builds heartbeat laser system to identify risky individuals


Pentagon heartbeat laser—It’s no secret America has some of the most advanced systems in the world. But the Pentagon is taking things to a whole new level by creating a laser system that can identify high-risk individuals using their heartbeat.

No two heartbeats are the same. Similarly to our eyes, our fingerprints and our voice, our heartbeats are unique. Based on this particularity, the Pentagon has developed a device capable of identifying people using their heartbeat.

The new device–developed with US Special Forces in mind–works without having to see the face of the subjects. It works by scanning the cardiac signature (heartbeat) of the person an infrared laser. Dubbed Jetson, the aim of the new tech within the US military is the recognition of known threats at distance.

While still in its infancy, experts worry that the technology could take a wrong turn. Governments and surveillance organisations could use it to spy on private citizens. However, it could have other applications as well. As MIT notes, doctors could check heartbeats without having to touch the patient, while hospitals could wirelessly monitor a patient’s vitals. Perhaps this kind of technology will even one day render cutting-edge advances in facial recognition obsolete.

The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office suggested two years ago that this technology could be combined with other identification technologies, explaining, “Being able to measure unique cardiac signatures obtained from an individual at a distance provides additional biometric identification when environmental conditions and changes in facial appearance hinder use of a facial recognition system.”

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Eid Lee

Eid is a freelance journalist from California. He covers different topics for The Talking Democrat but focuses mostly on technology and science.