CNN's Jeanne Meserve described DHS's Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) as "marrying a lot of existing technology, some of it medical," to measure breathing, heart rate, blinking, fidgeting, and other bodily functions of passengers at airports.
The idea is essentially to create a remote lie detector, where sensors placed at airport security screening areas would be able to monitor a passenger's physical reaction to questions being asked by screeners.
Critics have likened the concept to the "Department of Pre-Crime" in the 2001 film Minority Report, which describes a future where persons are caught and convicted of crimes before they occur.
Originally entitled Project Hostile Intent, the program was revealed by the science magazine NewScientist in 2007. According to a report at the time in the UK's Guardian, "the new devices are expected to be trialled at a handful of airports, borders and ports of entry by 2012."