Our days of avoiding detection by the system are numbered, as the US military is developing a laser that can identify us by the thrum of our hearts. Great.
The usual way to escape identification is changing your face with plastic or removing your fingerprints with fire. You can start again, providing that you have the disposable cash to do so. However, before you start googling Gevena’s most discreet surgeons, you should know that everyone’s favourite cashed-up antagonist, the US military, is working on a laser that identifies you, via your heartbeat.
It sounds something that resides in Hayao Miyazaki’s waste paper basket, but here we are. According to MIT Technology Review, “a laser has been developed for the Pentagon that can read people’s unique heartbeat signatures after it was requested by US Special Forces. Code-named Jetson, the device is still in the prototype stage but is already able to read heartbeats from around 200 meters (656 feet) away, even through people’s clothing.”
As it turns out, our heart beats in a completely unique fashion, not dissimilar to how our fingerprints identify us.
Speaking to MIT, Steward Remaly of the Pentagon’s Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office said “I don’t want to say you could do it from space… But longer ranges should be possible.” He also claimed that the current prototype has an accuracy of about 95 per cent.
Fortunately, there is a positive to be found, as the current technology needs 30 seconds to generate a reading from a perfectly still target. Consider it the Civil War-era camera of intrusive surveillance drones. Clearly, we have time on our hands, for now. Until then, keep ducking and weaving my paranoid chums.