Heat-Detecting Sensor May be Able to Detect Lying

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The advantage of the thermal-imaging technology is that it does not require an expert to analyze the results. And it is non-invasive. It can take heat measurements without having to strap a person to a slew of sensors.

However, the imaging technology needs considerably more testing before it could be considered as a tool for security purposes, said Levine.

How eating or running would affect metabolism and the blood-flow to the face is not known, said Levine. The effects of psychological baggage would also need to be assessed. For example, would a person's guilt over a shoplifting incident affect the response if asked whether he or she was carrying a weapon while passing through a security checkpoint?

Levine believes the trick with the thermal imaging sensor is that it can record an instantaneous metabolic response to a question that is unaffected by other past events. Still, this needs to be tested.

The technology could also be easily abused. "Should the police have such a device in their car, for example," said Levine.

On the other hand, it would prove a wonderful new tool for journalists.

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