The specter of Terrorists on a Plane has engulfed the aviation industry, with European scientists planning to unveil seatback cameras and microphones for airplanes.
A joint project involving British and German scientists from the Onboard Threat Detection System marries audio and video technology to present an always-on picture of passengers. The system is designed to have advanced software that will examine passengers’ behavior for signs of foul intent, such as constantly looking around or thoroughly rubbing their palms together.
Details are still being ironed out, which is why we don’t know who would be doing the passenger-watching. We would hope that it wouldn’t be the captain and crew, even if most planes are designed to fly by autopilot these days. The scientists also say that they would build in a way of erasing the compiled data after every flight, in part to alleviate privacy fears but moreso to save on hard disk space.
We’re not sure whether this sort of thing will make it onto more than a couple airplanes, since it might be prohibitively expensive to install and maintain, but the sentiment of watchfulness is not an welcome one.