New Camera System Knows When You're Lying

Works two-thirds of the time, say British researchers

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 13, 2011 2:50 PM CDT | Updated Sep 17, 2011 6:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – A new camera system can reportedly read lies right off our faces. Scientists in Britain have combined video, thermal imaging, and algorithms to scan faces for signs of lies, the BBC reports. The system gets it right about two-thirds of the time, say its makers. The researchers worked with Britain’s border agency to build the contraption, which is expected to be tested in a UK airport later this year during immigration interviews. The system works by detecting the physical changes that accompany emotions, such as eye movements, bitten lips, and dilated pupils.

The device also detects tinier changes invisible to the naked eye, such as swelling blood vessels. “We bring together all this well-established work on expressions, these recent developments in thermal imaging, techniques for image tracking of subjects and our new algorithms into one operational system,” says the lead researcher, who has thus far used the equipment only on volunteers. “In a real, high-stress situation, we might get an even higher success rate,” perhaps with accuracy of up to 90%, he says. And unlike traditional lie detectors, this one can theoretically work in secret.

A new camera can read lies on our faces.
A new camera can read lies on our faces.   (Shutterstock)
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