Chinese Scientists Have Developed a Camera That Detects Stress, and Yours Is Pretty Bad

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Arrest this man! Photo: Frank and Helena/cultura/Corbis

According to the South China Morning Post (via Gizmodo), scientists in China are developing a camera that can detect "highly stressed individuals" at long range. The camera is being designed for use by law-enforcement officials, who could theoretically use it to pick suicide bombers and other would-be criminals out of a crowd before they commit their crimes.

The camera, developed by Chen Tong, an associate professor at Southwest University in Chongqing, works by scanning faces in a crowd using hyperspectral imaging to determine the amount of oxygen present in a passerby's blood. If oxygen levels are extremely high, indicating severe stress, it would register on a "stress bar" displayed, in a Sims-like manner, over each person's head, with suspect's faces highlighted in red.

Leaving aside the possibility that this technology could register false positives in stressful places such as airports, restaurant kitchens, or literally anywhere in New York City, it just seems ... creepy, right?

"The technology can be used on terrorists, but harmless people such as petitioners and protesters could be the target as well. I would feel uncomfortable and tense if a police officer stared at me through strange goggles," said Li Jiancheng, a Shanghai resident quoted by the SCMP. 

The technology hasn't been approved for use yet, so you still have some time to brush up on your relaxation techniques before authorities begin cracking down. Then it's namaste, or else.