Is that you, darling?

October 2012 News

I have often wondered what the fuss is about identity and identification.

When you were a boy, no matter in what ‘avatar’ you returned home, your mom not only recognised you instantly, but carried the paradigm of face recognition to more exalted heights. She even knew with the most un-Heisenberg-like certainty, whether you had taken a shy at the window-pane down the lane and not missed, hissed at your teacher and got a note in your diary, or someone else was about to discover whatever happened to their cat in the neighbourhood.

They should actually get moms to write the software for identity management. For example, if they could extend their expertise to company employees, the most perplexing corporate problems of the day would probably disappear. With the face recognition would come the additional routines to know if the boss was in a surly mood, or your sales person has already thought up the most wonderful story about why the sales did not happen, or the cashier has decided that s/he has had enough of working class penury and will put a hand in the till this morning, then be off to the Durban July to bet it all on Raspberry Princess. After the killing has been made, the original sum would be returned, of course. Whichever way, moms could help companies save millions.

A camera could even be installed in the meeting room and a little old-fashioned tweet could go off every time one of the trusted company boys told a little lie, so what if it was meant to save their indefatigable corporate skins, or even improve their chances for that richly deserved fabulous promotion. Oh, this one would be easy for the moms, especially if they had to code them in languages with names like Visual C++.

And, we are not talking voice recognition yet.

Telecommunication equipment is usually designed for 8 k MHz. They say judges and the forensic experts can be sure of culprits if voices are recorded at 16 k. However, moms already use 64 k. Imagine your bank’s call centre. Along with your request, “can I know my bank balance, please?” Mummy’s voice recognition system would already know if now, a cheque would be made out to your favourite church charity, or spent on some dire household necessities, or for a weekend with the mistress. If such things could be known in advance, especially by a spouse, (though they know it, actually, but do not tell) the world would indeed be a better place.

Terrorists would not stand a chance, if only moms ‘manned’ the airport security gates and the CCTV cameras at public places. Imagine the conversation in the backroom – one mom to another – when they discover the guy carrying the bombs on his body. “Oh my Jake would never have his eyeballs so close, even if the constipation was severe.” Imagine this could save the world one day.

They would even do better at the scene of crime than present-day forensic experts. From the expressions on the face of the corpse, they would know if it was a jealous partner, a greedy and impatient family member, the butler or a complete stranger.

Large multi-million dollar fingerprint bureaux and even identity kits that forensic artists use to re-construct the face of criminals from eyewitness accounts would become obsolete. They would be able to tell who has not ‘dunit’ simply by looking at a scene of crime and telling the teacher – my Jake would never do such a thing.

But then, moms are more than a match for the spouse, something you discover on your first late night out with the boys after moving in together. You do not even drive all the way up to the garage. You turn the key in the lock without a click and tip-toe up the stairs. You have not made a sound, you are in total darkness, and yet your ethereal presence is confronted by the most formidable challenge-response system known to mankind, the deceptively simple query, “Is that you, darling?”

Polonius, when not appearing in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is a Hi-Tech Security Solutions’ writer who prefers that his wife does not know about it.

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