On their blog Microsoft Research has announced that they are working on signal processing technology which can read your heart rate and stress levels from a distance, even if shaded.
The technology, which can accurately detect informative bio-signals — such as pulse/respiratory rate and temperature changes on a face, is called active light sensing, and is part of a collaborative research (CORE) project between Dinei Florencio, senior researcher at Microsoft Research Asia and academic partner Dr. Gene Cheung, associate professor at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics.
The technology can be used to judge moods or even detect if users are lying.
“The project is very interesting in that it tries to estimate bio-signals for more efficient face-to-face communications,” said Tao Mei, senior researcher at Microsoft Research. “The Principal Investigator (PI) proposed to use active imaging, which is entirely non-contact and noninvasive, to solve this problem with a novel idea by analyzing the constructed thermal and depth images in an indoor active image sensing system.”
Combined with machine learning one can imagine the technology would be able to pick people out of a crowd who are not quite with the agenda, which could be a pretty powerful technology for oppression.
The team is looking forward further improvement in the technology and Professor Cheung said it will be made publicly available eventually.
Read more about their work and other achievements at the Microsoft Blog here.