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Israelis: Talk to the Dog

by jason on November 25, 2005

Forbes is right, that “after a half-century of hostile borders and urban guerrilla warfare, Israel has emerged as the go-to country for antiterrorism technologies.“
Pooch-Tongue-Crop.jpgBut, oy gevalt, the technologies they pick! They sound cool. But I wouldn’t count on the Israeli Defense Forces (or any other military, for that matter) using most of ‘em any time soon. Still, they’re fun to read about. Here are two of the eight Forbes picks.
Dog Translator (Price: $10,000 and up)
Worn on a collar or mounted on a wall, the Dog Bio Security System translates barking into alarms for police or military. Bio-Sense Technologies spent two years capturing the sound waves of woofs and arfs, encoding them to be read by a digital signal processor. All dogs emit the same type of bark when they sense trouble. The device can distinguish this bark from a dog’s “Hello.” A consumer version costs $100. A high-end version costs tens of thousands of dollars but is still 25% the cost of video surveillance.
Liar Detector (Price: $200,000)
An airport security guard’s greatest fear is letting through terrorists smart enough to stay off the watch list. Suspect Detection Systems came up with a machine to smoke them out. A passenger puts his passport on a scanner and one hand on a sensor. The machine starts asking increasingly tough questions in the official language of the passport-issuing country. Artificial intelligence software monitors physiological responses through the sensor. Agents pull aside those who fail the test. The company claims a 96% accuracy rate after two years of testing. Slated to go into use next year in Israeli and U.S. airports, as well as Gaza Strip checkpoints.

I wouldn’t bet my last shekel on it. Here’s some background on why lie detection systems, both new school and old, are so spotty.

: “For funny Israeli anti-terrorist ideas, it’s still hard to beat the terrorist sniffing gerbils,” Nick notes in the comments.
AND MORE: Gary Larson 1, Israelis 0. Check out this prescient Far Side cartoon.

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