News Article

Balance Board Coming To An Airport Near You!

Posted by David Snoddy

The Department of Homeland Security are running a project which will utilise the Balance Board

We all know what travelling through an airport means: any liquid over 100mls being “politely” removed from your person and, if you're unlucky, a strip search. Well, the Department of Homeland Security is not content that this is enough. A new $20 million project called "Future Attribute Screening Technology" (FAST) will utilise the Balance Board to identify “fidgety” passengers, who could then be subjected to a more thorough screening process.

The concept arose due to research done by Homeland Security that suggests nervous individuals - or more importantly terrorists - tend to fidget. Project Manager Robert Burns told CNN:

"There has been a large field of research that ties your physical reactions to your mental state... We're looking for those signals that your body gives off naturally,"

Researchers are in the process of modifying the Balance Board in order to test what constitutes a nervous movement and, ultimately, a second search. However, Stephen Fienberg, Professor of Statistics and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, states:

"I haven't seen any research that shows that those measures from the autonomic nervous system ... measuring blood pressure, measuring breathing, measuring heat on the face, are at all related to intent,"

As such, it may be a while before your balancing skills are put to the test at your local airport. Still, what will the Department of Homeland of Security try next? The ‘Wii Vitality Sensor’ may just make an appearance next to its balancing buddy, and Nintendo could well be moving into the security sector.

[via techradar.com, 1up.com]

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User Comments (38)

#2

said:

Good to hear Wii balance board is helping alot.

Unca_LzStaff

#4

Unca_Lz said:

GASP! Nintendo is so big that they're spreading their products to outside the video game industry! :D

theblackdragonAdmin

#7

theblackdragon said:

... when the hell would they have you standing on it, though? when you've already been pulled aside for your stuff to be searched? this is pretty ridiculous IMO, lol.

MarkyVigoroth

#10

MarkyVigoroth said:

Oh no...
...there would be less airplane riders, now, since people who are naturally nervous about this new system would be booted off as terrorists...

Miyabi273

#13

Miyabi273 said:

@ MarkyVigoroth Agreed, I have pretty high anxiety so I am often nervous when I goto air ports. I hope they put enough effort into it so people who are naturally like that don't end up in screenings.

mjc0961

#16

mjc0961 said:

Or they could just set up a camera and look for people who are fidgeting. That would probably work just as well without wasting millions of dollars.

V8_Ninja

#17

V8_Ninja said:

The Nintendo Ninjas strike again! They make sure the only thing in the world is Nintendo.

SmaMan

#21

SmaMan said:

Well we all know from Ghostbusters II that the Statue of Liberty can be controlled by an NES Advantage controller, so it's only a matter of time before more Nintendo accessories become part of our world.

Looking forward to Wii Heal, a hospital entirely functioning on Nintendo products. The doctors/nurses are even Miis!

Link

#22

Link said:

Everyone has touched upon my major issue with this; when people travel they get nervous. So unfortunately, it will be difficult to sort out who is genuinely going to cause harm, from those who are scared about flying.

ASDFGHJKL

#23

ASDFGHJKL said:

Sony and Microsoft's consoles may make more simulations to stopping terrorists, but Ninty is closer to stopping real ones. :P

Link

#25

Link said:

No, it is not. Although the Balance Board may not be what Homeland Security use, they are investing money into testing the technology.

BulbasaurusRex

#26

BulbasaurusRex said:

I have naturally poor balance and a tremor movement disorder. I hope that doesn't cause me problems with this new system.

ueI

#27

ueI said:

Which country's airports is this about? I know this website is mostly European, but I would expect to see these policies from paranoid Americans.

Knux

#28

Knux said:

Oh my goodness, LOL! This is hilarious and sad. Using the Wii Balance Board at airports!? THIS IS HILARIOUS!!

theblackdragonAdmin

#29

theblackdragon said:

@uel: the Department of Homeland Security is an American thing iirc... isn't it called something a little different in Europe?

Alexei123

#30

Alexei123 said:

I think it's a stupid idea. I'm sure there's lots of people who aren't nervous when they're about to crash a plane.
SuperSonic1990 I can understand how you find it funny, but sad?!

bro2dragons

#31

bro2dragons said:

i don't think this is so bad, but probably could be used better, say... with police as an intoxication test. i don't care who you are, under the influence or not, one foot in front of another on a straight line is tough!

SanderEvers

#32

SanderEvers said:

I'd be nervous if someone asked me lots of stuff while I'm standing on a Balance Board at the airport.

And no, I'm not a terrorist.

RyuZebian

#33

RyuZebian said:

All products in the future will be made by Nintendo! All will tremble under the might of what started as a card making business, and now rules the world..! Nah. They do the least non-gaming stuff of all the big 3 console makers- Sony=Various gadgets Microsoft=Computer OS:s. But I hope that in the future I can play my games on a Nintendo brand TV! Or surf the web on a "Ninputer!" ;) No, but what would be truly awesome would be a Nintendo cellphone. best cellphone gaming ever! xD

Millie

#38

Millie said:

are they seriously gonna use the wii balance board for airport security??like is this a joke?! come on now, almost everyone gets nervous when theyre going through security.. the wii balance board is good for fitness but not catching terrorists...

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