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Wearable Lie Detector

Build Yourself a Superpower

Published onNov 04, 2019
Wearable Lie Detector

Imagine that we no longer need to strap someone into a polygraph set up to run a test that could be manipulated and beat.

Imagine that we live in a society where there is full transparency with every intention.

Imagine that you could wear glasses that signal every mention of a lie.

From the Purple Hyacinth comic, where the protagonist has the superpower of detecting lies (in red)

Inspired by a comic, recent events, and personal stories, a pair of lie-detecting glasses could be built some time in the near future, utilizing improvements of existing technologies.

Current polygraph technology:

“The machine first registers the baseline of your vital signs. Examiners then trick you into lying by asking you a series of "control" questions…As soon as the examinee tells such a white lie, it puts a blip on the polygraph machine that serves as a signature of that examinee's lies…The polygrapher scores the test by comparing physiological responses (breathing, blood pressure, heart, and perspiration rates) to the probable-lie control questions with reactions to relevant questions... In essence, an examinee's lie only counts as a lie if it registers as more of a lie than his or her control lie.”

Downside? The test could be cheated

“Change your heart rate , respiratory rate, blood pressure and sweat level while answering control questions… By comparison, your answers to the relevant questions will seem true.”

How do we improve upon this?

  • Extensive set of control data

    • Historical data: as personal data are increasingly logged onto digital devices (such as Health app, Fitbit), there will be extensively recorded heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and sweat level for each person

    • Look up of data: as one person approaches another, the glasses detect the other person’s identity and look up their historical data

  • Real-time monitoring of physiological responses

    • The glasses monitor the other person’s physical activities while they talk. The monitoring will be new technology & in a compact form - perhaps similar to x-ray scans (that will have to be safe to wear)

  • Real-time scanning of neuron activities

    • New technology and some wishful thinking: perhaps by this time we will have figured out if there is a certain type of neuron activity that indicates lying. If that is the case, the glasses will continually scan for such activities and signal when the pattern is detected

Hopefully the lie-detecting part can be an add-on to any glasses. Here is one design of a pair of glasses

Once a lie is detected, it will flash on the lens and is only perceptible to the wearer. The signal will stay for a second. The glasses will need to be charged to power its activities.


It DOES NOT detect the objectiveness of truth - only one’s intentions. So if someone thinks it is correct to say 1 + 1 = 3, the lie detector will not pick that up. This circumvents the “is there only one objective truth” debate, especially in politics and where data is involved.

Source on polygraph:

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