Culver City (CA) - Terrorists better put on their makeup because European researchers are developing small cameras to be mounted in the backs of airline seats. The cameras would profile suspicious movements and then transfer the information up to pilots and authorities. But it doesn't stop there, microphones would also record speech.
British and German scientists from the Onboard Threat Detection System project are working on the system that could give early warning about airline hijackers. Nervous movements like rapid blinking and constantly looking around would be detected and the passenger would then be profiled against the aircraft's passenger list.
While recorded video and sound seems great, how do you sort through the stuff to get meaningful data? Supposedly the system would have sophisticated software that would distinguish between a true terrorist and a plain old nervous passenger. It's unclear if the pilots would be able to watch the passenger or if they just receive computer warning messages.
The project is also trying to ease any privacy fears and according to Mrs. Neary, the team leader of the project, video and audio would be destroyed after each flight, accordance with the Data Protection Act.
The embedded cameras and microphones is just a small part of the project's overall goal of increasing airline safety. Researchers are also looking into explosive sensors and ways of locking out terrorists from the airplane cockpit.