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Students test world’s first ocular lie detection software

Posted at 6:49 PM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-13 20:49:57-04

LEHI, Utah -- The world’s first lie detection software using eye movement to detect deception is teaching students about start-ups and the tech industry in Utah.

The software is called Eye Detect. It was debuted in 2014 by Lehi based tech start-up, Converus.

“We have this product being used across 450 customers in 40 different countries in the world, we have thousands of tests in 25 different languages,” said Todd Mickelsen, the CEO and president of Converus.

Converus targets five main industries; government, private security, banking and finance, distribution and retail.

“People are finding it to be very effective to help deter corruption, to help eliminate loss in their organizations, to really change behavior,” Mickelsen said.

But this isn’t your standard polygraph, it uses this small bar to track your eye movement and see if you’re lying.

“It’s based on the scientific fact that it takes more mental effort to tell a lie than to just tell the truth,” Mickelsen said.

“So when we lie there’s an increase in mental effort that increase in mental effort has an involuntary effect on the eyes,” he added.

Tuesday they brought in a group of students.

“We wanted to expose them to career opportunities but also give them an idea of what it’s like to be part of a startup,” said Mickelsen

While they were there, the students got to test out the software using what’s known as the number test.

“Have them chose a number between two and nine, have them write that number down and then they’re to lie about the number they wrote down,” said Mickelsen.

Through a series of questions, they rank your pupil data, then choose your number based on where the data was the most significant.

We decided to try it too.

“The machine thinks you picked the number two,” said the test operator to our reporter.

It was right.

The test is 86-percent accurate and actually works better on adults.

When the students gave it a shot, one was able to trick the test.

“Perhaps his eyes reacted significantly to the first number and they were still coming down to the baseline before we got to the next question, we often see that,” said Mickelsen.

“There was a reaction, but um, yeah... we missed it,” he added.

When we asked 15-year-old winner, Mckade Swallow what he wanted to be when he was older he joked, “There’s a lot more options now that I know I’m a good liar.”

Mckade got a gift card for winning, the company says they rarely have to award one.