smart "mirror"

Here’s a scary development for webcams, a MIT grad student has figured out how to determine if your heart is healthy just by looking at you via a webcam. The system uses an open-source face-tracking program and will study someone’s face, measuring the slight variations in brightness produced by the flow of blood through blood vessels in the face. So once the developer was able to determine how to account for variations in lighting and image quality, he was easily able to measure a pulse, and it worked well enough that it matched up with the results of FDA-approved devices. The hardware used is simple and cheap enough that it could be installed almost anywhere from a mirror in your home, or even using your own cell phone camera. The system could be improved in the future to even double up as a lie detector, figuring out if you’re nervous about stealing the cookies from the cookie jar every night. Link:


will it tell me whether I’m still the fairest of them all???


that’s quite nuts. and makes me feel very much more watched by big brother. what will they be able to tell from this kind of technology in the future? if you take drugs, if you are evading the tax-man, if you have committed crime…
it’s just waaaay to invasive. but im sure that if you make use of the idea of free will, then you expose yourself to it. im just worried about them scanning you when you are having a skype chat with your honney when you least expect it.

Sounds a bit over hyped to me. Sure, if it can accurately measure your pulse rate, that can be useful, but saying it can be used as a lie detector or anything of that sort is a bit far fetched. You can’t tell that much just from your pulse rate… or can you? >:D

doesnt lie detector machines test you pulse-rate?

A lie detector (polygraph) “is an instrument that measures and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, breathing rhythms/ratios, and skin conductivity…”


Lie detectors are lies. Got a ring to it doesn’t it? It is bull - check out Bob Park or Randi.

Well, lie detectors aren’t nearly as accurate or reliable as they are commonly made out to be. They are prone to false positives (identifying a truth-teller as a liar) and easy to beat with a little bit of practice. These are some of the very good reasons why lie detector tests are inadmissible as evidence in the courts of most countries, be it in civil or criminal proceedings.


i think the problem with a lie-detectors are, that they can only pick up your physiological responses to stress. like if you know you are lying, or you feel guilty, or worried that you will be caught out,…etc.
if you are a psycho, and you dont feel remorse, or couldnt really care if you get caught. or if you are a special breed, like my ex, who tells a lie so well, that he believes it himself, then the machine wont work.
maybe half the effectiveness of the machine, is the stigma it’s got attached to it. it makes you nervous, because the hype is that it will catch you out if you are lying.
what other methods are there of detecting if someone is lying. there is body language, but some people, like my ex ;D, that can lie while looking you in the eye.

I had a nasty experience with a lie detector. It said I lied on every question (and some of them were contradictory). I NEVER lie. Okay, I lied once about my daughter’s puppy which died on her 9th birthday (I told her it was at the vet - which was only half the truth, but I couldn’t say, “Happy Birthday - your puppy just died” so I told her he was sick and at the vet).

I did some research into polygraphs and found them to be absolute bullshit. Their only use is sometimes making a suspect confess to a crime through fear of being caught by a polygraph test. They cannot tell the difference between lies and truth (at all). The only way their use can be kept going is to perpetuate the lie that they can.

My research also showed that highly intelligent people will always appear to be lying on these tests because of their high levels of brain activity.

I was accused of stealing stuff out of a music shop I was working in. I set out to catch the thieves myself. Got them on video. Was cleared by my boss. In spite of all this evidence, PASA (Polygraph Ass of SA) still refused to issue me with a letter of apology. It was an extremely traumatic experience.

I don’t really believe in these polygraphs but had the following experience: We delivered 300 frozen ducks to a wholesaler in Durban and never received a signed delivery note back. When the wholesaler checked its stock (after we queried the non-payment) the stock had disappeared. The wholesaler blamed our driver and he in turn named a particular guy in the Reception area who in the interim had died? We found another accomplice after meeting with the wholesaler and subjected both our driver and the accomplice to a polygraph test…our driver was exonerated and the other chappie handed over to the cops: I think there’s a psychological element as the driver was totally prepared to do the test so the machine picked this up…whether he was clever enough to dodge the machine is doubtful. The other guy dodged our interrogation and without the polygraph would have been fingered in any case.

The webcam COULD become PART of a lie detector - if someone trained in interpreting facial expressions and stress symptoms were involved as well. Otherwise - it’s a remote pulse-monitoring device. Nice to have in a baby monitor, BTW?

But anyone who has read enough detective fiction knows the rudiments of how to fool a lie detector: simply think of something that gives you a guilty chill while being asked some of the calibration questions, apparently, and no-one will know WHAT to believe. Or just get indignant over a remembered slur, or how badly the Bokke did against Scotland / ABs / Australia.