Can I just say that when I first read about this on CNN.com earlier this week, my weird sh** meter went into overdrive. Are they kidding?
Apparently Homeland Security in the States is researching the possibility of using Wii balance boards in airport security around the country. Yeah, beginning in 2011, you may see that Wii Fitness Board you have stored away in your living room at the airport also.
This investigation is one of Homeland Security’s FAST (Future Attribute Screening Technology) projects. The idea is that if someone is suspicious at the airport, they will be asked to stand on the Wii board which will be able to measure how nervous they are by detecting a rapid heartbeat, shifting weight, changing body temperatures, eye movement, irregular breathing, stress and general nervousness.
I am always nervous and ready to get off of a long flight, does that mean I suddenly become a suspicious passenger? Is there a real connection between nervousness and malicious intent?
I can’t help but think about how the greatest liars in the world are able to beat lie detector tests. Assuming that logic translates to this, wouldn’t it be safe to say that they most experienced terrorists would be able to beat the Wii balance board test at the airport?
Of course, people everywhere are screaming about how this is a violation of civil liberties. “Nobody has the right to look at my intimate bodily functions, my breathing, my perspiration rate, my heart rate, from afar,” said Joe Stanley of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
No matter how all this turns out, it can only be good news for Nintendo. Who knew they would be able to take advantage of a whole other niche for their products, the security technologies sector. I wonder if soon we will be using a Wii remote to watch a movie on an airplane too.
This video explains how the Wii Balance Board works, in case you haven’t seen one: