Thursday, October 16, 2008

Using Gait Analysis to Spot Terrorists

The scientists at JPL (NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California) have taken gait analysis to a new high. So high, that scientist Adrian Stoica says it should be possible to identify a person (from a satellite) by the shapes and patterns their shadow makes as they walk across the earth. At least, this is what New Scientist Tech reported in their article, Shadow Analysis could Spot Terrorists by their Walk, Sept. 4, 2008. Stoica claims that satellite and aerial footage could be analyzed to extract the useful gait data necessary to catch a terrorist from the sky.

Yes, it's true that a person can be identified (more or less) by his gait, though it's not a fingerprint, more of a generalization. But the problem is with the premise behind this effort that says people cannot easily disguise their gait. People can change their gait. Everyday at my Footform Performance clinic in Bend, Oregon, we train people to change their gait.

Besides, this idea of satellite gait analysis seems like a really dumb idea that costs a lot of money. Every actor in a play or movie changes their gait to match their idea of the character they are playing. What happens if the person being looked for takes off his hat? Or puts one on? Maybe he'll wear a speedo one day and a raincoat the next. What happens if he opens an umbrella or walks over a pile of rocks? Gait Analysis from space is an unnecessary expenditure of brainpower and money.

Set an appointment at Footform for gait training and gait analysis and you'll walk back and forth in front of and alongside a mirror as I coach you. No shadows and satellites. Just down to earth gait analysis. You'll feel better for only a fraction of the cost of an aerial photo.
call for your appointment 541-389-4547

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