A technology company is developing a lie detector app for smartphones that could be used by parents, teachers – and internet daters.
The app works by measuring blood flow in the face to assess whether one is telling the truth or not. The idea is that different human emotions create different facial blood flow patterns that we have no control over.
These patterns change if we are telling the truth or telling a lie, so using footage from the smartphone camera, the software will see the changes in skin colour and compare them to standardized results.
A study from last year revealed that anger was associated with more blood flow and redness whilst sadness was associated with less of both.
Developmental neuroscientist Kang Lee, who has been researching the field for 20 years, said that the lie detector test will let you find out the truth ‘non-invasively, and remotely, and sometimes it can be covertly’.
The developers Toronto startup NuraLogix, say their image processing software, called Transdermal Optical Imaging, could be used for daters wanting to see if somebody really is interested in them.
Parents could use the lie detector on their children to see if they are lying and teachers could work out which of their pupils are truthful. The applications range from first dates to law enforcement, marketing, and education.
“It could be very useful, for example, for teachers,” said Lee, whose academic lab is based at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
“A lot of our students have math anxiety but they do not want to tell us, because that’s embarrassing.”
“If teachers were able to identify students experiencing anxiety in classrooms, they could help address those students’ needs individually, and early on.”
He however, said the technology would not replace lie detectors used in a court of law, as the app won’t be able to achieve an extremely high accuracy level as required in courts.