Have you ever had to watch something really intently, knowing you absolutely couldn't miss anything that happens in front of you? If you've done something like this for even 10 minutes, you know what a draining task it is. Imagine doing this for hours, days, weeks, or even months. This is what soldiers who work in video surveillance have to do.
With such a tedious task at hand, you can only imagine the number of false alarms, not to mention the number of actual threats missed. To try and solve this problem, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched the Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System, or CT2WS. DARPA began work on CT2WS in 2008, as pointed out by ArsTechnica, and it recently finished testing a system that utilizes brainwaves from an EEG to detect threats of a video screen.
Our brain is a very intricate machine. When you see something unusual, your brain responds with a specific brainwave called P-300, and it's this specific wave that the CT2WS system targets. Using a 120-megapixel electro-optical video camera, an EEG, and some sophisticated cognitive algorithms, CT2WS feeds the viewer 10 images per second, and by monitoring P-300, it can catch anything odd that's happening on screen without the person even being aware of it.
It then takes the suspicious images and shows them yet again, letting the that person use their own judgment to determine whether the potential threat is something to worry about. In tests, CT2WS cut the number of false alarms from 810 per hour without the help of CT2WS to only five per hour.
While DARPA is currently testing CT2WS with military personnel, this technology could be extremely useful for any security operation that requires a human being to monitor video feeds for hours on end. All you would have to do is sit there and stare at the screen—your brain would do the rest for you.
This story, "DARPA's detection system uses your brainwaves to detect threats faster than you can" was originally published by TechHive.