Spy satellites may soon be able to identify people using biometrics and video of the individual’s shadow, according to a Daily Mail article. The technique used is called gait analysis and works by identifying an individual by their stance, walk and other attributes. These traits that are unique to each individual. The technique is already being developed for use in Middle East airports and borders in attempts to catch known criminals and terrorists though from a profile view not a bird’s eye view.
While the system would be useless during the night, it is a huge step up from current satellite imagery capabilities that, although having improved quite a bit in the past, still cannot determine identities reliably. Additional flaws include weather impediments such as rain or fog and a possibility that satellite imagery is still not revealing sharp enough images for use.
Early tests were successfully conducted from the sixth floor of an office building, but the technology is expected to be many years away from completion. Despite the possibilities of the new technology that were presented by Dr. Adrian Stoica of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at a security conference in Edinburgh, many experts remain cynical that satellite imagery would be able to reliably identify an individual in such a fashion.
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