The I-Scan will be on commercial trials later this year and soon airport security will again be almost as unobtrusive and as non-invasive as it was before 9/11.
The brain and its centres for emotion and cognition are increasingly becoming readable. Strong emotions create stronger brain waves and their characteristic brain-wave signatures are being “read” in ever increasing detail. Israeli research – which has been classified as a military secret for some time now – has shown that “malicious intent” has a characteristic signature of brain-waves and that the proximity of actions based on the “malicious intent” are clearly connected to eye and facial movements. The new malicious intention detector (I- Scan) is non-intrusive and is based on detecting and reading the brain waves of passengers as they simply walk through what looks like a door – albeit a rather thick door. The I-Scan is built into the surrounds of the 1 m thick door and identifies anybody who has “malicious intentions” by monitoring the emanations from the limbic centre of the brain – the amygdala.
Within the limbic system is a small structure called the amygdala, a storehouse for emotional memories. It is also the area of the brain responsible for our “fight or flight” reactions, our natural survival instincts.
The brain wave detector built into the I-Scan has to be within 80 cm of the subjects skull and detects a “malicious” signature within 20 ms. Malicious intentions show up clearly as tell-tale brain-waves, and together with facial muscle and eye movements, it can now be determined if the malicious intentions are also connected to actions planned for – or carried out in – a time proximity (about 3 hours) to the present (probability >99.99%). As the passenger walks through the door-scanner, an array of five cameras placed about 2 m ahead read the facial expressions and eye movements of the subject. The scanner has been tested extensively at 3 airports in Israel and now a corporation has been vested with the sole rights for commercialisation of the device. It is unlikely that the Israelis will make the technology generally available but they are expected to licence 2 or 3 US manufacturers.
It is envisaged that everybody would walk through the intention scanner. Only those who triggered the scanner would then need to go through a conventional X-ray scanner. The luggage of these passengers would also need to be X-rayed. Even using a “safe” threshold would allow over 95% of all passengers to effectively experience no delay whatsoever. They would just walk through a door. The other 5% would still have to undergo the usual X-ray scanners and a pat-down. Most of these 5% would be false positives for “malicious intent” but but even these passengers would experience a much speedier process. It would allow the number of security staff at airports to be reduced drastically.
“No hijacker or bomber or terrorist could conceal his intentions from the I-scan” said Dr. Jakob Malinowski of The Israeli University of Bio-Competence. “We have been developing the scanner for almost 10 years and it is now ready to be rolled out. It has already been on trial – secretly, and very successfully – at 3 airports. It is so unobtrusive that nobody has even noticed”.
The scanner is now being produced by Bethmalion-I Ltd., at the rate of about 50 I-Scans per month. Production is being ramped up and it is expected that given a sufficient number of licencees, the I-Scan could have been rolled out to most “friendly” airports within 3 years. It is not expected that the Russians or the Iranians or others considered “unfriendly” will even be allowed to just purchase the I-Scan.
I have always felt that every increase of security is a sort of victory for the terrorists. We will never return to the innocent days when there was no security, but the I-Scan could both simplify the entire security process and provide a much greater level of security. That will begin to redress the balance.
It is expected that the I-Scan will have many other applications (concert halls, football stadiums, government buildings and the like).