Wednesday, October 5, 2011

(empo-plaaybizz) Two and a Half Faces

I have previously tried to make biometrics cool, but it's an uphill struggle. For many people - whoops, I forgot the disclaimer:


For many people, biometrics conjures up the idea that every fingerprint scan and every police picture is automatically shared with every police agency in the entire world, plus selected really bad police agencies in other galaxies. This, despite the science fiction element, is considered to be extremely uncool.

But last January, I was trying to think about ways to make biometrics like cool and stuff.

Assuming for the moment that casual use of a technology can increase the acceptance of its use in law enforcement, perhaps this same practice can be applied to other technologies.

Such as the body scanners used by the TSA.

How come the trendiest clubs haven't bought some of these body scanners to install inside their party zones?

Imagine - it's one o'clock in the morning, the star deejay is in the middle of her set, the lights are flashing...and a guy in a police uniform rushes out to the applause of everyone.

"OK," yells the pseudo-cop, "who wants to get scanned?"

After some pushing and shoving around, a few young women and a few young men move toward the pseudo-cop, and The Machine is unveiled, along with a large monitor. One by one, the participants go through the body scanner, and the crowd cheers or jeers depending upon the results of the scan. Winners are selected, and participants will get the option to purchase photos of their scans.

Now I'm sure that some people would charge that this would violate pornography laws, but the nightclub owner will claim that these are just standard Federal Government practices.

Well, I hit upon another idea - why not use Ashton Kutcher to promote biometrics in some way? He's on a hit TV show, he's pals with Robert Scoble, and he's highly regarded as reliable source - well, maybe not. But there is a significant segment of the population - over 7.8 million people - that would listen to Kutcher before listening to Janet Napolitano.

And he's already associated with cameras - see

So why not extend this association and give him superbiometric powers?

Now I have never watched Two and a Half Men, but I understand that most of network TV is really really successful when it has a laugh track. So if you crank the laugh track up really loud, you can sell anything.

Instead of educating TSA inspectors, DHS could just buy the entire advertising block of Two and a Half Men, with the option of introducing things into the scripts.

Such as letting Ashton's character (whatever he's called) wear some super biometric glasses that tie to a DHS database and allow him to immediately know the first names of hot babes his character encounters.

THE DORKY CHARACTER: Hey, who's that hot woman over there?

ASHTON: Hey, kid, get me my glasses!

KID: Here they are.

(ASHTON puts on glasses. Lights on glasses blink.)

ASHTON: Hey, Sara!

(loud laugh track)

Of course, you have to have Ashton's character go through all the biometric modalities. Using a mobile fingerprint scanner to find out who was playing his video game. Looking deep into someone's eyes - deep enough to see the iris detail. Gazing at a woman's wrist, a vein recognition reader close at hand. And, of course, voice recognition.

KID: Telephone! ... Hello?


KID: No way!

(loud laugh track)

ASHTON: Hello, who is this?

VOICE: You don't recognize me?

(ASHTON applies a device to the phone receiver. Lights on device blink.)

ASHTON: Demi?!?

(loud laugh track)

Network executives will love it!
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