There is a new biometric concept afoot from a Vancouver startup, turning a homespun invention for comfortable shoes into an entirely new source of biometric data. At the moment, the pre-funding company is little more than a weirdly graphical but vague website (http://www.plantiga.com/), some patent applications, and the gushing …
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"...what Sandler calls "gait biometrics," a fancy term for identifying an individual based on signals transmitted from his feet...new dynamic biometric profile.
"Each person's feet offer a different signal. Supposedly, anyway, since Sandler doesn't have any research to back up the claim that any person's gait is constant enough to serve as a profile, and different enough from others' to uniquely identify him..."
Gait biometrics is a recognised field of study. It's not "finished" yet (then, neither are iris and signature recognition, and fingerprinting might not be quite as infallible as the legal and enforcement professions believe), and it might not make it out of niche fields of application, but to call it "new" or imply that Sandler is some sort of lone crackpot working on a bizzare idea is frankly shockingly poor journalism.
There's this thing called the World Wide Web. It's really useful now they've invented decent search engines.
The completely ridiculous notion that you *should* have been poking fun at is that, to be widely useful, this fellow's gait biometrics has to be installed in every pair of footwear sold on the entire planet.
you would have to repeat Travolta's movements from Saturday night fever to log into your computer... or dance ballet to pay in the cafeteria. And it's just two simple uses for the system. Btw, there is already motion/pressure mesuring footwear available for runners allowing them to analyze their style on a computer.
Not so much a new idea...
"... but to call it "new" or imply that Sandler is some sort of lone crackpot working on a bizzare idea is frankly shockingly poor journalism."
Well, seeing as how he is in fact the first "mad scientist" to attempt to market gaiting (is that the correct verbage?) without in fact having data charts and pretty pictures to support his claims, I would certianly put this man into the "crackpot" genre until further notice...
After all, do you think Van Gough quit discovering the light bulb when HE was called crazy for inventing electricity? Or something like that... (stupid useless US History classes!)
There's something like this in Dune. Young Paul Atreides gets told off for using his latent mentat powers to discern that the footsteps in the corridor are not faked.
Since I'm not the Kwisatz Haderach...
... I just content myself with never sitting with my back to a door. :)
Seriously though, who would actually buy this thing if it actually got off the ground? Even the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" PC crowd wouldn't have a motivation for buying such shoes. Of course, I can see a scenario where the cops buy them and secretly plant them in supected terrorits' shoes when they're asleep. Or a law gets passed mandating that ALL footwear must be fitted with this technology...
I'll get me tinfoil hat.
Are we going to have to microwave our shoes next to get rid of the RFID chips?
I'm waiting for someone to develop full-body Faraday Cage suits - thin hazmats, but keeping all your data inside.
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