Wii Fit Balance Board: Terrorist Catcher?

As airports turn to new types of technology to use for screening air travelers, videogame technology may play a role.

An article on CNN details a new Homeland Security-backed project, dubbed Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), which measures physiological signs—heart rate, breathing, eye movement, body temperature and fidgeting—in an attempt to decipher whether or not the person being scanned intends to do harm.

The component currently used to monitor fidgeting? A Wii Fit Balance Board modified to show the weight shift of the subject in question. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a concrete correlation between weight shifting and intent to terrorize, as a study is currently underway to determine what level of fidgeting would necessitate a secondary security screen.

Via Kotaku, thanks Mdo7! Image from CNN.

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  1. sirdarkat says:

     Quick grab me I twitch constantly I must be a terrorist I have never been known to stand still even when in formation (to the dismay of my commanding officer).  


  2. gamegod25 says:

    Wow we’re going to place the security of our country in the hands of a plastic childrens toy from Japan. *spends next three hours slamming head on keyboard*

  3. Erik says:

    I would just like to say, God bless whoever made those little bottles of booze for the airline carts.  I couldn’t fly without them.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  4. Wormdundee says:

    Completely ridiculous. This is even worse than a polygraph. I think the reasons have pretty much been covered though. 

  5. SbEguy says:

    So, it’s a machine that will make many people nervous in a place where most people are pretty nervous already (security check) and it will check if people are nervous. Right.


    -people who are nervous about being in security check

    -people who are nervous because they have the wrong skin color (of course they will be searched regardless of the result this machine gives, like usual)

    -people who are nervous for any of a million other reasons

    -people who have ADD

    -people who have a rock stuck in their shoe

    -people who are getting leg cramps from standing so long in line

    -people who need to pee after standing so long in line

    -people who are late for their flight (probably because of the line)

    -or any combination of the above

    will be getting the terrorist treatment…excellent.


    Not to mention it would have to be constructed out of some pretty heavy duty material for the people who buy two seats on the plane.

  6. Father Time says:

    Or anxiety disorders like mine?


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  7. Vake Xeacons says:

    With ya on that! Since when does fidgeting constitute intent to terrorize? Especially when youre being frisked at the airport by action-hungry security!

    Im ADHD; does that mean Im a terrorist too? Or people with RLS?

  8. Andrew Eisen says:

    "I have a question: can a wii fit stand up to the stress of some fatass weighing, say, 400 pounds, standing on it?"

    Possibly, but Nintendo recommends that you not use it if you weigh more than 330 lbs.


    Andrew Eisen

  9. Austin_Lewis says:

    I have a question: can a wii fit stand up to the stress of some fatass weighing, say, 400 pounds, standing on it?  It just seems like it’s only a very small device, and I just wouldn’t think that it could repeatedly take heavy people standing on it…

    This is, as I said before, stupid.  ‘Anxiety’ isn’t a sure sign of a terrorist in disguise.  What about people who are worried about, say, missing a flight, not getting home in time to see their kid’s ball game, missing out on a wedding, their luggage being lost/destroyed, their car being towed, etc.  The list goes on and on.  There’s a lot of reasons for anxiety in an airport, not least of all being the ridiculously inflated prices of everything in the airport.  So, with all that anxiety, I doubt that they’ll be able to pick out terrorists; they’ll just spend their time doing what they do now: harassing people without any real reason.  Now, instead of it being based on, say, the length of one’s beard or the clothing one’s wearing, they’ll do it based on the wii fit’s perceived ability to measure anxiety.

  10. Balance says:

    "The Board has declared you guilty of thoughtcrime, citizen. The Board is never wrong. You are being diverted to our reeducation facility."

    Do the neurotic Bauer-wannabes really need another toy to use in harassing and intimidating innocent travelers?

  11. Austin_Lewis says:

    What about people with ‘restless leg syndrome’ or whatever that crap is supposed to be called?  I mean, wouldn’t they seem to be a little too ‘anxious’, and thus be singled out based on a ‘disease’ or ‘handicap’?  

    This whole thing is stupid at all  levels.

  12. Neeneko says:

    I am guessing that they are hoping to use this technology to decide who to search and who to let through rather then who to arrest on this evidence alone.

    Even with that,.. this is a horrible idea.  Make nervous people’s flight experince even worse?  I already know people with SAD who will not fly anymore, this would probably send even more people over the edge.

  13. Mechadon says:

    This is just as bullshit as a polygraph test. There is no way this method can detect a person’s intent. It can only detect nervouseness. It’s only a tool for intimidation.

  14. DarkSaber says:

    If a polygraph isn’t admissible in court, then this is not gonna stand a f***ing chance.

    Oh wait, it’s combating terrorism, no evidence to support accusations is needed anyway!


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  15. DarkSaber says:

    The old heave ho to Guantanamo of course!


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Comments are closed.