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DAmn hollywood (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919534)

Damnit, someone watched Minority Report and went "Heeeeey, good idea....GET ME R&D"

Re:DAmn hollywood (1)

altoz (653655) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919654)

> Damnit, someone watched Minority Report and went "Heeeeey, good idea....GET ME R&D"

Such bad luck, too! That must have been one of 5 people that actually watched the movie.

Re:DAmn hollywood (2, Interesting)

Speed Pour (1051122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920086)

I know you're joking, but on a semi-serious note...doesn't that movie constitute 'prior work' or 'prior invention'?

The patent system, as it's defined, says that patentable ideas must not be a logical extension of existing ideas or an idea already created by somebody else. I skimmed both links and I can't find (maybe I missed it?) any mention of a the date related to when this company claims first provable conception of the idea. Unless they built something years ago, this isn't going to hold water.

While I wouldn't stand behind this approach, I'm sure it could also be challenged on the fact that it's a perfectly logical extension of using the eye as a fingerprint which was thought up decades (over a century maybe?) ago. After all, the only real change between the older conception and this is simply the level of unwillingness by the people being scanned. It does also include the multi-camera bit, but that's already in wide use by facial recognition software, which is also in wide use.

Re:DAmn hollywood (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920126)

Um, what?

Minority reported didn't include the design documents for that magical technology.

The patent [if any] would cover the design of the solution.

Just wait till warp drive is invented...

Re:DAmn hollywood (1)

Speed Pour (1051122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920484)

Minority reported didn't include the design documents for that magical technology
Patents aren't about the design documents, their office clearly states it's about ideas. The reason most patents include design documents is because a patent can also be dismissed if it's too vague or encompasses a concept that's so large that it's unlikely the originator of the patent could have conceived a use that relates in some way. Many patents are filed without design docs, including quite a few from Microsoft, Sun, IBM, and Novell (just to name some of the worst offenders).

The patent [if any] would cover the design of the solution.
What do you mean, "if any"? Read the top again, it links to the patent application right there.

On a side note, after another look at the patent application, while they are trying to patent the idea, which will likely fail if it's ever challenged...they could easily patent their algorithm, which is definitely solid.

Re:DAmn hollywood (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920850)

You simultaneously called them "offenders" and then said they're not about designs.

That's just it, a patent is supposed to cover the ideas contained within a design of a working solution. This is why you can't patent things that are illogical [or outside the realm of understood science].

Otherwise, we could just sit down, think of a million devices we can't create yet and shut down the "IP" industry.


Re:DAmn hollywood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17921670)

Isn't that what NTP does for its primary revenue stream?

Re:DAmn hollywood (1)

trianglman (1024223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921348)

I believe (but IANAPL) that that clause applies to patents for things that are either common (i.e. the wheel) or very similar to other patented works. It would not apply to something imagined in a science fiction novel/movie.

New product opportunity (3, Funny)

cryptoguy (876410) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920334)

I foresee a new market developing for iris-concealing contact lenses.

Re:New product opportunity (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921428)

Meanwhile it looks like I may be wearing my '80s-style sunglasses more often. They're darker than anything you can buy today that isn't opaque and they wrap around preventing side-acquisition of biometric data.

And cranking up the brightness on my monitors to compensate.

Re:DAmn hollywood (3, Funny)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920650)


The device is able to scan the iris of the eye without the knowledge or consent of the person being scanned
Not only Minority Report. Wesley Snipes' performance in Demolition Man also demonstrated the scanning of an iris without consent (simply by scooping the eyeball out of a freshly killed person and plopping it on a sharp object, waving it in front of the scanner).

Just be glad that they copied it from Minority Report instead of Demolition Man. *shudder*

Re:DAmn hollywood (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920770)

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.

Put on... (4, Funny)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919552)

Put on your tin foil hat... And sun glasses!

Re:Put on... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919596)

I think you were trying to say... contact lenses with a highly reflective coating (red is preferable).

Re:Put on... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919796)

Only terrorists wear shades.

Re:Put on... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921498)

Only terrorists wear shades.

Well that explains the FBI then. And the CIA. And the Secret Service. And....

"Can I ask you something? These sunglasses: they're really nice. Are they government-issued, or do all you guys go to the same store?"

Re:Put on... (1)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922546)

According to Ray Kolczynski, who claims to be the Program Manager for the Covert Iris Scanner project at Sarnoff Corporation (http://www.sarnoff.com/ [sarnoff.com]), "the system *does* work on a subject wearing most common forms of sunglasses". Noteably, the scanner would not work on a person wearing glasses/sunglasses/lenses made from a material reflecting or absorbing IR radiation. Standard reflective sunglasses might only reflect VISIBLE light, not necessarily IR light.

Hopefully, we who like to wear our tin foil hat in public will be able to purchase our IR-absorbing contact lenses any day now. In the mean time I'll be wearing green-glass, reflecting sun glasses.

Priorities? (5, Insightful)

blowdart (31458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919554)

Interesting to note that the article focusses on the less sinister uses for this, customised advertising, whilst bypassing any mention of privacy aside from a nod to saying it could take place "without the knowledge or participation of the subject". So whose money will talk fastest, advertisers or Homeland Security?

Re:Priorities? (5, Informative)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919760)

So whose money will talk fastest, advertisers or Homeland Security?

DHS has $19,632,348,000 to spend for 2007 [loc.gov] for the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) alone, so I guess they'll win.

Re:Priorities? (1)

Krazy Nemesis (795036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922202)

Well, considering a quick Google search turned up that over US$34 billion [danwei.org] were spent in advertising in China last year alone... and that the Bush administration spent US$1.6 billion [rawstory.com] on advertising since 2003. In the US, there is over US$2.4 Billion [adage.com] spent on advertising deodorant! It seems that you're mistaken in your assumption.

Advertising appears to be more of a world-wide expenditure.

Wear sunglasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919558)

Wear some mirrored sunglasses.

Won't Work (4, Interesting)

giafly (926567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919584)

The problem, says Davies, is the limited accuracy of biometric systems combined with the sheer number of people to be identified. The most optimistic claims for iris recognition systems are around 99 per cent accuracy - so for every 100 scans, there will be at least one false match.

This is acceptable for relatively small databases, but the one being proposed will have some 60 million records. This will mean that each person's scan will match 600,000 records in the database, making it impossible to stop someone claiming multiple identities. - new scientist [newscientist.com]
Please can someone design one of those standard forms for these bogus ID schemes - like the one with all the reasons why anti-spam technologies won't work.

Those aren't the most optimistic claims (2, Interesting)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919712)

I've never seen such pessimistic claims for iris recognition. With a false accept rate of 1/1000 to 1/10000, you can achieve a false accept rate of pretty much zero. I respect Simon Davies, but I'm not sure he has his facts right here.

Re:Won't Work (4, Insightful)

M_Hulot (859406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919786)

You're quite right that it won't work. The 99% accuracy figure that you quote is very high, compared to fielded system. The UK government seems to have put it's scheme on hold after it "failed half its assessments." http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/11/project_ir is_evaluation_report/ [theregister.co.uk] Note that these tests were on actively cooperating participants. The success rate for those not cooperating has to be very low.

BTW the Live Science article suggests that: "Good quality scans result in a "false match" less than one time per one hundred billion". This estimate seems to be off by a factor of between 1 and 10 billion. Check out other articles by the same journalist: "New Study finds Sun only 491 feet from Earth".

Re:Won't Work (1)

stiggle (649614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922154)

They claimed "good quality" scans, but unfortunately all the scanners currently available aren't that good :-)

The worse problem (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921704)

The worse problem, when you think about it, is the number of persons that are going to be scanned.

E.g., let's say you stick this in an airport, and give it an insane resolution camera. You want to identify suspects quickly in a crowd, right? So if this thing is this good at scanning people without even having them look in a gizmo, better batch scan any iris that has enough pixels on that camera, right?

The problem there is that there'll be maybe a thousand people in any place in the airport at a time, so around 10 of them will be falsely identified. That's just in one scanning everyone in the room.

Now think the hundreds of thousands of people moved by a reasonable airport daily, their families coming with them to the airport, etc. Oooer. Now that's some serious false positives.

Multiply this by a a generous number of cameras scattered all over the place. A 1 false match in 100 scans pretty much means just that: if you take the same person and walk him past 100 cameras, on the average 1 of them will identify him as someone else. Stick enough of these cameras on an airport, and everyone will get at least one false match by just walking from one gate to another, maybe with a detour to the toilet/bar/whatever.

And I don't even want to think of the janitors, security guards, airline personnel, etc. Those are going to get scanned again and again thousands of times a day, producing anywhere between tens and hundreds of false matches each.

Basically: think of the worst "the Pope, Bush and Osama walk onto a plane" joke and a camera somewhere will produce exactly that kind of false match. Daily.

Now for the second problem: picture being placed somewhere at the scene of a crime by such a false match. 99% accuracy sounds just about guaranteed to have been you to the average jurror.

That's.. nice.. (2, Funny)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919586)

In all seriousness, I would've thought someone in London would come up with this idea first.

Re:That's.. nice.. (1)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919840)

Nah, we love all those crappy cameras... actually we want more of them!
What's the point of changing unreliable technology with new unreliable technology?

Re:That's.. nice.. (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920044)

What's the point of changing unreliable technology with new unreliable technology?
Can we at least get ONE thread that doesn't deal with "why upgrade to Vista"?

With technology this new (3, Interesting)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919606)

Do we know that repeated retina scanning is healthy for our eyes?

Re:With technology this new (3, Informative)

daranz (914716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919724)

This device is not going to scan retinas, it does iris recognition [wikipedia.org]. And no, it doesn't really do anything to your eye besides taking a hi-res photo of it.

Re:With technology this new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919816)

Nobody is taking a retina scan without you being aware of it.

Re:With technology this new (1)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919886)

Thanks for letting me know that it is permission/knowledge based, but it really does not answer my question in any way.

Re:With technology this new (2, Informative)

Forseti (192792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920444)

I think he means that it's impossible for someone to scan your retina without your knowledge, those types of scans are way too "up close and personal" for that. What we're talking about here is iris scanning, which is completely different and harmless. It's basically just a high-res, possibly long-range, photo of your Iris. (Colored portion of your eye.)

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919618)

...sales of mirror sunglasses skyrocket!

Re:In other news... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921610)

When was the last time you saw a real pair of mirrored sunglasses for sale? All the pairs I've seen have been a colored partially reflective coating that wears off too fast. It's like they're afraid to make them, like they've been made illegal somewhere (like too much tinting of car windows in some states).

Contact lenses with fake iris images? (4, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919632)

Contact lenses that alter eye color are already in popular, widespread use.

How hard would it be to construct a contact lens with a unique, fake, computer-generated iris image (no idea how you'd do that, but "fractals" sounds like a good buzzword to insert here)? Sound like it would be a lot easier than fake fingerprints.

In a situation where you knew you were being scanned, the officials might say "I see you're wearing contacts, remove them please," but I don't quite see an airport saying "no contact lenses allowed in this airport..." particular if the idea is that the scanning is supposed to be surreptitious.

Anyone else notice the logical disconnect here? (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919726)

The article says "Good quality scans result in a 'false match' less than one time per one hundred billion."

It also says "the newly proposed system is that it allows iris scans to be taken without the knowledge or participation of the subject."

What it does not say is that "the newly proposed system allows good quality scans, with a 'false match' of less than one time per one hundred billion, to be taken without the knowledge or participation of the subject." I fancy readers are supposed to infer that conclusion, which does not follow from the premises.

I'll bet the system has the usual impressive-sounding "99.9%" accuracy or something in that ballpark... like all those facial-recognition systems. Meaning a false positive rate of one in a thousand. Meaning that if one in a million airport visitors is a known terrorist with an iris scan in the database, then 999 out of every thousand people, yanked out of the concourse by polite but firm security officials, will be Lutheran grandmothers from Davenport, Iowa travelling to visit their children in St. Paul.

And the officials will be unable to give any coherent explanation, since the system is supposed to be surreptitions.

Re:Anyone else notice the logical disconnect here? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920198)

If that Lutheran grandmother also just happens to look like the terrorist whose retina she matched, yes. Theyll pull her aside. The retina scans wont exist in a vacuum. There will be a name and picture of at least the face, and probably a text description to go along with it.

If it truly does have that accuracy, and combined with other data, its a lot easier to know if the person really is a terrorist or not. The Lutheran grandmother isnt going to look like a male Arab. Or a female one. Or even a young white female terrorist. (Thought they may pull her on the last to check for a disguise, but will quickly realize it isnt.)

Besides, if they get a match, I would think the policy would be detain and get another picture of the eye, and check again. The chance of 2 false successes is even lower.

I notice they dont mention anything about false failures, though. With just about any match technology, if you raise the standards high enough, you get very, very few false matches... But you also miss many matches that you should have gotten. They dont give us the numbers for that. Maybe it only ever actually gets 1 success in a 100.

Theres too many ways to skew the numbers on this. I think we can pretty safely assume its vaporware until its got some real data behind it.

You have a lot of faith... (2, Interesting)

shadow_slicer (607649) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920582)

Current systems only have a name in the database.

What makes you think that the new system will have pictures, a name and a text description when the current system only has one of them?

Re:Anyone else notice the logical disconnect here? (2, Interesting)

Excors (807434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920966)

Results from 200 billion iris cross-comparisons [cam.ac.uk] shows how the false positive rate varies with the chosen threshold, and roughly shows the false negative rate too. If you have a good enough camera, it seems like there's not much problem in choosing a threshold that works very reliably, though you presumably have to make compromises in one direction or the other if you're not getting people to stand still and look straight into your camera - but false positives don't really matter if you're using it for targeted advertising. If you want it for airport security then you don't need to do it without the person's knowledge, and you can get good results:

In the UAE border-crossing deployment, nearly 2 trillion (2 million-million) iris comparisons have been performed to date, as all foreign nationals visiting the Emirates have their irises compared against all the IrisCodes (mathematical descriptions of registered iris patterns) stored in a central database. Some 40,000 persons have thereby been caught trying to re-enter the UAE with false travel documents since this deployment began. The Abu Dhabi Directorate of Police report that so far there have been no False Matches.

Re:Contact lenses with fake iris images? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919922)

It's the same reason that vast databases of the Earth's surface make surface constructed secret bases impossible - it's not that you stand out by being identifiable, it's that you stand out by NOT being identifiable.

To really fool this system, you would need not just a random pattern but a known innocent pattern, and depending on how sophisticated it was you would need to know that innocent person was out of range of scanners to avoid a collision.

Mass surveys like this are really the ultimate answer to clever people - done correctly, ANYTHING out of the ordinary would let officials focus their resources there until the situation is sorted out, simply because anything at all out of the ordinary would be both visible and attract attention. Like a car without a license plate - it may be mud, carelessness, a new car, or someone up to something, but in all cases it will get checked out because the system will allow focused resource concentration on anomalies.

Re:Contact lenses with fake iris images? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919932)

Perfect for framing someone you don't like.
  1. Get an Iris scan of the subject and construct a lens that duplicates the data points.
  2. Commit a crime wearing the lenses in the vicinity of scanners.
  3. The police arrest and hold them indefinitely without charge in the name of freedom.
  4. Profit?

Could that be the first complete profit scheme ever posted to slashdot?

Re:Contact lenses with fake iris images? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919946)

Dont even really need to. Occlude the Infared or make it have a infared reflective surface in the iris location.

They haveto be using infared, no way you can get a good iris reading without a light source at the camera point, and that has to be infared or UV to make it "invisible". IR is far easier and less of a hazard and I bet dollars to doughnuts that is their design.

A tachyon transmission from the future... (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919986)

I want to see you try that. Chances are they'll just gun you down and not bother to
arrest you. People have tried in the past and failed miserably. To get through a
checkpoint you'd have to _be_ the guy you're trying to impersonate and I don't
mean just fake iris contact lense and fake thumbprints. You'd have to pass
biometric face recognition, voice recogntion and then you'd still have to have
the same body shape if they got see-through infrared imaging. Oh and at the newer
checkpoints downtown they would still bust you because there they have computers
that look for the way you walk and move and they do genetic spot checks there.

Re:Contact lenses with fake iris images? (1)

cs02rm0 (654673) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921562)

How hard would it be to construct a contact lens with a unique, fake, computer-generated iris image (no idea how you'd do that, but "fractals" sounds like a good buzzword to insert here)? Sound like it would be a lot easier than fake fingerprints.

I've done a bit of work on iris recognition. A basic system could probably be easily faked by a contact lens, but a more sophisticated system can measure tiny variations in your pupil dilation and how your pupil dilation responds to changing light levels too. Of course, you can develop more advanced fakes and then more advanced fake detection... it's more work than it's worth as far as I'm concerned.

Lots of questions remain (3, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919658)

specifically about implementing something this.

Identifying who you scanned. sure you can scan an iris without their knowledge but unless you have the pattern stored how will you know who it is? Perhaps do it at a register and match it to the card/id used? That would be underhanded to say the least.

Storage, how much space per pattern? What is the speed of comparison to a large database? Something that is quick enough to focus ads (for the minority report fans) would require serious processing power.

I could see it in small settings, say a business who needs a less instrusive means of security. Scan all your employees and only let them in, if accompanied by those who cannot be matched then don't admit to sensitive areas. However in the general public setting, costs for equipment to store millions of scans and process them fast enough to be meaningful is still aways off.

Re:Lots of questions remain (1)

RationalRoot (746945) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919730)

And no one will even need more than 640K of memory.

The argument that we don't have the processing power/storage/response time to do something is only valid for a year or two. If I can do it in the lab today, add Moores law and I can do it in the wild in a couple of years.

Re:Lots of questions remain (1)

jonnyelectronic (938904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919866)

The normal case is to generate a code from a particular iris pattern in a repeatable way. Think of it like a hash for your iris.

The database lookup would be interesting, but I'm sure that there are smart ways to optimise this. People have probably already started tackling these problems.

Re:Lots of questions remain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919968)

Identifying who you scanned. sure you can scan an iris without their knowledge but unless you have the pattern stored how will you know who it is? Perhaps do it at a register and match it to the card/id used?

No need. You just match the scan to the actual goods bought. The first time you shop, you're scanned at the register buying goods from categories A, B and C. Next time you come in, the system at the door matches your scan and gives you adverts and offers from those categories. Supremely annoying and invasive without ever actually violating your privacy by including any other identifying information.

Re:Lots of questions remain (1)

dazzawazza (131000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920154)

Identifying who you scanned: Just place a scanner in every store near the till. Most people will use credit cards and after a few years you've got 99% of the population with iris and CC info cross referenced. Arrest the criminals that have 'avoided' detection ans say hello..... BB is watching.

Re:Lots of questions remain (1)

xeno-cat (147219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920482)

They already know who you are, you are iris #42. You moved into location A, than B, than C. You did so at time intervals X, Y and Z. You were in proximity to Iris's #3, #56 and #98. Acquire enough of this data and they can take their time learning your name.

Re:Lots of questions remain (1)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920638)

That would be underhanded to say the least.

Iris scanning and underhandedness go together. Motor vehicle administrators think it's the ideal biometric because the iris scan can be conducted surreptitiously as you are having your eye test for driver's license application/renewal.

"Proposed" is the right word. (1)

solitas (916005) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919696)

Patent applications propose a lot of things (claims) in the hopes that, someday during the life of the patent, if the technology is finally evolved that far, the assignee can make $$$ off of licensing.

I'd really like to see a system capable of the kind of detail, precision, speed, and tracking required for covert iris analysis, in real time, from a distance.

LSS: just because it's in a claim doesn't mean it'll ever happen - the name of the game is to add as many related claims as possible to cover all possible future concepts and variations.

And, then, there're always 'mirror shades', contacts, and corneal lenses if you're really trying to beat the system.

Jab (2, Funny)

Talisman (39902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919736)

I don't know about the rest of you, but iris scanners scare the crap out of me. Every time I look into the peephole to get scanned, I'm relatively certain a large needle will shoot out from behind the glass and stab me in the eye.

Sir, you have a gift (3, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920018)

Please contact lionsgate films /horror division immediately..

btw FYOU~! now I'm gonna have that same vision every time...

Re:Sir, you have a gift (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922056)

Please contact lionsgate films /horror division immediately..

It's already been done in the context of an eye test at an optometrist, in a network TV series episode, mid-'80s to mid-'90s. Needle was in the eye test device (I don't know its name) that switches in different lenses while the optometrist asks questions like "Is that better, or worse?" and "Number one, or number two?" I don't think the optometrist was in the room for the scene.

I don't recall if the plot was to induce blindness, inject a poison, or stab the brain.

Re:Jab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17920626)

Every time I look into the peephole to get scanned, I'm relatively certain a large needle will shoot out from behind the glass and stab me in the eye

You want scared? Over 90% of everybody gets cataracts [wikipedia.org] before they die. I'm 54, they did this [wikimedia.org] to me last summer.

I was looking forward to having them poke my other eye with a needle, until I had a torn retina [wikipedia.org]. The biggest risk factor for a torn retina is severe nearsightedness, followed by having had cataract surgery.

I thought it hurt when they welded the retina back together with a laser, but that was nothing! My IOL is a CrystaLens [wikipedia.org]. as teh linked wiki article puts it, "The position of the lens can be changed by the ciliary muscles of the eye, allowing for natural focusing." After wearing glasses all my life, then contact lenses AND reading glasses, I don't have to wear glasses or contacts at all now! The downside is if your retina tears, it can get in the way of the eyeball welding laser and they have to freeze your eyeball with a probe cooled with liquid nitrogen.

If I'd been strapped to a chair at gitmo when they did that, I'd have confessed to anything!

I hope none of you are squeamish, sorry... but if you need cataract surgery, spend the extra money and get the good one.

Ok, That's IT! (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919740)

I am getting me some of these contacts [contact-le...etwork.com]

Re:Ok, That's IT! (1)

nireus (988551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919832)

So that's the problem?Where to find contacts and sunglasses to avoid the scanning?These iris scanners should not be used in the first place.If nobody objects to it in a few years it will be probably illegal to wear those contacts. Ah,I should remove that anal probe,i think those E.T bastards are spying on me...

What worries me most... (2, Interesting)

Cicero382 (913621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919774)

...is not so much that this is possible, but that the inventors seem to feel sure that there's a market in this AND that there won't be any serious objection to stop it. A bit like the proliferation of "security" (read "unadulterated snooping") cameras in London.

Actually, thinking about it, what *really* worries me is that people *won't* object to it. Not really.

Ah! Brave new world... etc.

shades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919776)

...dark ones

I may be working on that ap (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919842)

I'm a patent examiner and unfortunately the ap (only at first glance) looks pretty solid. I never like to see a technology that exploits people as it's main purpose but this branch of government won't be able to stop it. The good news is at the current time it appears the implementation is cost-prohibitive so it won't be implemented for a number of years in mass. I hope when this technology is implemented there are some restrictions put on it. Invasion of privacy is a big and growing problem.

Re:I may be working on that ap (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920202)

From taking patent law, this application reminds me of a case: Juicy Whip v. Orange Bang [cornell.edu], involving a device meant to display a fake drink container to trick consumers into thinking their drink was being dispensed from a bubbling container instead of being made on-the-fly from mix. The courts concluded that the immorality of an invention was no bar to its being patented. Although the PTO reacted to Rifkin's stunt of trying to patent human/animal chimeras by saying there'll be no patents on monsters [legalaffairs.org]."

To be fair, non-consensual iris-scanning tech isn't innately evil, just evil in how it's going to be used. On a related note see this story [thesun.co.uk] claiming that leaked UK documents show a plan to upgrade cameras to use "T-ray" tech, spying on people through their clothes. (Not sure it's actually practical to do this from a street-corner camera; don't you need an active beam generator?) Add better AI and we will, presumably, have a government that watches all citizens at all times for suspicious behavior.

For anyone that hasn't heard of it yet, check out David Brin's The Transparent Society for a different take on the privacy issue.

Unlawful Search and Seizure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919936)

Am I the only one who finds this morally repugnant? We are talking about monitoring your every move and action. I am not a criminal, but this goes against every freedom I believe in. The right to privacy may only be implied and not specifically granted in our constitution, but it is still widely held. Why is it that we would allow a company to randomly gather our information with out our consent? I can't wait to see the ACLU jump on this one.

Remember the recent stir about not being able to board a plane with out ID? When will we see sunglasses with a certain opaque rating made contraband?

In certain states in the US companies are not allowed to photograph/film/record you with out your knowledge. I can see serious challenge to this technology in those places. The customized billboard has a huge disclaimor on it visible in all directions, "if you walk by this billboard you will have your retina scanned." "Closed circuit retina scanning in progress."

My contacts will now display a Yellow Star of David...

Re:Unlawful Search and Seizure (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920490)

The right to privacy may only be implied and not specifically granted in our constitution, but it is still widely held.
It's not about privacy. It's about human dignity.

The constant monitoring, surveillance, identification, numbering and tagging of people in our society is an affront to human dignity. It's an affront not only to those being numbered and tagged, though they are the ones most offended, it's also a stain on the dignity of any state that permits it. Anyone who disagrees should ask people who have been tagged, with a barcode.

But the interesting fact is, human dignity is not a universally recognised right. We've got rights to our property, lives and liberty, but not in most cases to our dignity. This is only something that has recently been awknowladged.

The word "dignity" dows not even appear in the US constitution(enacted 1787). US citizens do not have a constitutional right to it. The Irish constitution(enacted 1937) does mention in the preamble that it is being adopted in part "...so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured". But this is only in the preamble.

Interestingly, the constitution of South Africa (enacted 1996), explicitly and unabiguously guarantees a right to dignity in Chapter 2: Section 10:

10. Human dignity

Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected.
I guess decades of having their dignity denied to them taught South Africans that this right doesn't really go without saying. This is one ammendment I would dearly love to see in my country's constitution. (Actually the SA constitution also guarantees the right to privacy [info.gov.za] and even the right to private communications. It's an extremely progressive document which unfortunately hasn't influenced older constitutions in the way that it should.)

Privacy in public is obviously a fallacy. But we should at least not have to suffer affronts to our dignity by being scanned and checked at every turn, or have our clothing seen through at every security checkpoint. Laws forcing Jews to wear stars or Muslims to wear crescents would probably still be constitutional in a lot of countries. A dignity ammendment would make what we know is wrong explicitly wrong. Humans aren't like animals. We have more needs than simply life, liberty and property. Dignity is one of those other needs.

Re:Unlawful Search and Seizure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17920720)

Man lighten up. I for one, welcome our iris-scanning camera overlords.

Say the police uses this. OMG they catch criminals easier. This isn't some freaking sinister plot to spy on you while you watch pr0n or something. If you have these ridiculous notions that the police/government shouldn't even freaking know you exist, don't come whining next time there's a huge hole in the road, or your son can't go to school cause it costs $2 million / year. Hell, don't even expect the military to do anything if someone tries to invade/bomb/whatever us.

You say we need a "right to dignity." I say, they need a right to protect and advance.

Dignity (2, Insightful)

Dobeln (853794) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920860)

Putting a "right to dignity" in your constitution is either:

a) A sign that the constitution will be applied in a very limited fashion, I.e. more as a nice-sounding statement of intent with very limited legal day-to-day application. I suspect this is the case in South Africa.

b) A legal train-wreck waiting to happen. Applying a legal concept of "a right to dignity" in practice makes many other infamous slippery legal issues seem easy by comparison. Expect a constantly changing (according to legal and political fashions) defintion of "dignity". What is certain is only that many new, cool "constitutional" concepts will emerge from the penumbra of dignity.

Why? Simply because there is hardly any consensus whatsoever as to what "dignity" means in many relevant situations - it's fuzzy beyond belief. I recently visited London for a few days, and was no doubt recorded by hundreds of CCTV cameras. Did I consider it a blow to my dignity? Not really. To you on the other hand, CCTV recordings appear to constitute a severe blow to your dignity. Which sort of illustrates my point.

Re:Dignity (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921816)

We could say the same thing about our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This is why dignity is defined by the society that wishes to apply it. I often read about few people in the U.K. who grumble a bit about the CCTV, but, generally accept it. Others broadly approve of it. To them, it ensures their safety. Now try to propose CCTV to a small town in North Dakota or Wyoming, and see what kind of response the proposal gets.

In other words, it is up to the society to define what they claim to be upholding human dignity. Countries that lash their citizens (and sometimes, foreigners [nysun.com]) may have a different take as to what dignity is.

On a personal level, I feel that dignity should be something that is defined by society and upheld. Whether or not it is feasible for the rest of society is something up to debate.

Re:Unlawful Search and Seizure (1)

trianglman (1024223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921676)

The problem is that privacy, dignity, and all of that only apply to what the government can or cannot do. Same with free speech.

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...

It doesn't say anything about corporations taking all the information they can, including surreptitious iris scans that pop advertisements. For that you need Congress to pass better consumer protection laws, and unless you live in California (where they go overboard with it), good luck with that.

I've previewed this technology back in 2005. (3, Interesting)

waif69 (322360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919952)

The system had a problem with people who blinked too much. I had to sit in front of the camera and remain still and it took a picture of my eye a few times before it got a good enough image. Out of 5 people who participated, all but one had to have multiple pictures taken.

I just can't see this system being used with cameras that randomly take pictures from varying distances and work, unless the cameras and software improved quite a bit in the past two years.

IED (3, Interesting)

SnackmasterMusic (1050984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920128)

Why, all the better to remote detonate you with, Granny!

Which terrorist group will detonate our beloved freedom fighters with this first?

"and when I gave them cell phones, they could not get enough...

generating the database is simple, just use the network of driver's license ID cameras.

the only good news is the economics of technology mean this will be first used by high-value targets against other high-value targets. Think large-scale corporate wars vs. vengeful government agencies...with the rest of us as collateral damage.

and- which foreign state will get access to our database first?

on the other hand, think of how many more dead soldiers we will be able to recognize on the battle field! yay!

Contacts? Glasses? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17920196)

I don't know about contacts, but my glasses must do wonders for light path - astigmatism corrections (different on each eye) AND progressive bifocals AND distance corrections (different on each eye). Gotta remember to keep them pushed up the bridge of my nose, I guess.

Oh, and they're coated so as to reduce UV.

Decent Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17920264)

I think I'll just start wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. According to reputable sources, they seem to make retinal scanning impossible...

I can't see this really working... (4, Insightful)

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920308)

Unless the system takes advantage of people that are in close proximity to the camera to get its pictures. Think about the resolution required otherwise. Let's say we have a picture that is 2,048 x 1,536 pixels... now, can you imagine a person's irises taking up more than 1% of the width of the picture, unless it were a rather close "headshot" type pose? Now, take a look at some closeup shots of human irises [drgaelriverz.com]. How much information do you think you'll get from 20 x 15 pixels?

Now, instead of 3 megapixels, think 12. That's still only 40 x 30 pixels. Not enough.

I'll worry when 100 megapixels becomes commonly available. (Yes I know the Navy has a 111 megapixel CCD).

Re:I can't see this really working... (2, Insightful)

Jon Luckey (7563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920528)

now, can you imagine a person's irises taking up more than 1% of the width of the picture, unless it were a rather close "headshot" type pose

Ah, we're all safe until someone invents robotically aimed telephoto cameras.

How hard is that?

One-word reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17920842)


Diffraction grate contact lenses (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921164)

A friend was "sweating out his PhD" in a lab which contained a cool computer-driven laser-etching device. He and a friend hatched a drunken plan to etch parallel lines into a pair of contact lenses, creating a nice one-way mirror effect. No idea if they ever managed it (presumably not), but I wonder if they filed a patent on the idea...

Plenty of things get proposed and patented ... (2, Interesting)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922062)

It doesn't mean that they need to be always *used*. Think about this this way - the US government has nuclear bomb technology. They *could* nuke San Francisco tomorrow if they really wanted to. But they don't. Ability to use != automatic use. The same as the EZ-pass system having the ability to track cars even outside of toll roads and even issue speed tickets automatically. But do they set up transponders to use that ability? The worst ideas are generally moderated by risk of a public outcry as well as morality. People in government are human too.


tr07l (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17922136)

raise or lower the Channel #GNAA on of Jordan Hub3ard it has to be fun And distraction

DANGER! New system guarantees blindness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17922214)

Remember how a biometrically secure car cause its owner to lose his finger?[1] This is exactly the kind of thing going to happen if these idiots started to make iris scanner for public use.

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4396831.st m [bbc.co.uk]

Time to invent ... contact lenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17922768)

That either block or interfere with such a scan.

Damn, what can we use that is transparent instead of the standard tin foil?
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