Eyes don’t lie: Cutting-edge technology can tell if you’re not being honest

Posted at 12:00 AM, Nov 12, 2017

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The eyes are considered the window to your soul. They can show joy, sadness, anger. They can also show lies. Can you tell if a criminal is lying?  What if you could identify a terrorist by looking him in the eye? Perhaps, it's as simple as knowing if your spouse is lying.

"I can tell because there is a lag in response," said Shari Sprouse.

She and her husband Scott have 20 years of marriage under their belt. They respect each other and don't lie about big things. But when it comes to trivial things, they know each other's telltale signs.

"She's a horrible liar. That is true. It's written all over her face when she does," said Scott.

What about law enforcement officers? Can they tell during the interview and interrogation process?

"There are things people have said and that when they say it as an investigator you're sitting across from them and immediately bells and whistles go off in my head. Ha, this person is lying," said Lt. Tommy Potter with the Isle of Wight Sheriff's Office.

However, that isn't always the case. Lt. Potter said you really can't ever truly tell if a person is being honest or trying to be deceptive when they're in an interview.

But what if a cutting-edge technology can tell if someone is lying by monitoring their eyes? It's called EyeDetect and it's the world's first non-intrusive lie detection technology. In 30 minutes, results will say whether or not someone is being honest and it's 86 percent accurate.

The person taking the test sits in front of a computer loaded with the EyeDetect software. A test administrator will make sure the test taker's eyes are properly lined up and then the test will start.

News 3's Kim Cung took the test herself. She was told to pick a number between two and nine and then lie about the number she chose. Then, she answered true or false questions. Once she was finished, test results came back in less than five minutes.

The results stated Kim chose number seven and it was correct. Todd Micklesen, the CEO of Converus, the company behind EyeDetect walked Kim through the results.

"As you [Kim] started to get close to seven your reading behavior changed because you were preparing to lie about the item that was being presented," said Micklesen.

The eye tracker that's part of the EyeDetect setup captures up to 60 measurements per second, including the slightest pupil dilation.

"It takes more mental effort to tell a lie than to tell the truth. And that increase in mental effort, even if it's slight, that increase in cognitive load, has an involuntary effort on the eyes," said Micklesen.

There are hundreds of EyeDetect tests ranging from catching cheating spouses, drug use and stealing from employers to identifying violating sex offenders. The results also don't involve any human judgement. Converus believes with a polygraph test, the analyst is not only reading the instrument, but making their own judgement when it comes to the results.

"Wee have some countries who are using it to verify people who are coming into their country who are suspected on whether or not they have ties to terrorism," said Micklesen.

EyeDetect is currently working with The Consilio Group, which helps companies work with the U.S. Government.

"Believe it or not the U.S. Government is almost last to the party so I think it's time for them to step up to the plate. One thing the President indicated was increased vetting of immigrants from certain countries and refugees. This is the perfect tool for that," said Oliver Meissner, the CEO of The Consilio Group.

This is why EyeDetect was developed. This is what Micklesen and Meissner are focusing on moving forward.

"We saw this as an opportunity to use technology to make the world a safer, less corrupt better place," said Micklesen.

All because the eyes don't lie.