VOICE STRESS PHONE
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voice stress phone
IT IS the nightmare scenario for cheating husbands dodgy salesmen and lying politicians. A new telephone has gone on sale that can tell whether the person on the other end of the line is telling the truth writes Andrew Alderson.
The device which costs £2700 uses sophisticated electronics to Indicate from a person`s voice tremors whether he or she is lying. Supplied by Londonbased Communication Control Systems it is intended primarily for businessmen so they can tell whether the person they are intending to strike a deal with is honest.
Last week The Sunday Times tried it out on celebrities and poliffcians who the public have long suspected of being "economical" with the truth.
The first to be put to the test waa Max Clifford the controversial publicist behind countless kiss`n`tell tabloid stories. He has always denied suggestions that he invented a story about David Mellor the former government minister when he sold an expose of the politician`s affair with Antonia de Sancha an actress to a tabloid newspaper.
De Sancha Clifford`s client had claimed that Mellor a Chelsea sup. porter put on his favourite team`s football kit during their bedtime encounters.
When asked last week whether he was responsible for inventing the story Clinord responded with an emphatic "no". The machine however was adamant that he had lied registering a mark of 60 (the standard reading for people telling the truth is anything up to 25). Peter Stringfellow the nightclub owner did better when questioned about his astonishing claims that he had gone to bed with more than 2000 women. . "That was just the figure |when I counted last year`` he joked. The machine gave a leading steadily below 25 as he spoke of his conquests. How would a secondhand car salesman the butt of jokes for alleged dubious sales techniques fare with the machine`` and inõtl system was overOne east London trader was asked to give more details about a nineyearold Ford Sierra estate that he had advertised for £1850. Asked what condition the car was in the reply was "It`s a nice car.`` The remark registered a reading of 35. Asked whether the vehicle would keep its value well the salesman said: "Yes.`` The reading of 42 suggested otherwise.
Further remarks hinted that the Sierra despite its sun roof and hi fi systems was overpriced. His insistence that "It`s a competitive price" recorded an even higher reading of 52.
The phone works by Voice Stress Analysis whereby micro tremors from the vocal chords which are associated with stress are measured. To be accurate a user should test the person on the end of the line with straightforward control questions which they know will lead to truthful answers.
Yesterday Clifford also responsible for a tabloid "scoop" alleging that Freddie Starr the comedian had eaten a hamster was unrepentant at being caught by the new phone. "Even machines make mistakes" he said. Stringfellow who passed the truth test admitted telling countless lies however: ``When you are in the public relations business you have to. But they are nice lies: more exaggerations than lies. When I tell a lady that she looks lovely I may be exaggerating slightly. And when they say I haven`t aged` I am quite happy for them to lie too. Lying can make life a little simpler."
Others were less willing to take part in the test. Neil Hamilton the former Tory MP branded a liar by the Downey report into political sleaze was reluctant to discuss his denials about receiving cash for questions over the "truth phone". Speaking from a mobile phone with her husband at her side his wife Christine declined the opportunity to support their thier potestations of innocence. "No comment" she said frostily before ringing off.
However Ann Widdecombe Tory MP for Maidstone and a publicly committed Christian was willing to take part an passed with flying colours. Asked whether she had raise the issue of Derek Lewis the former prison service director deliberately to sabotage Michael Howard`s hopes of leading the Tory party she replied "Yes." Her reading of 12 wil have pleased Widdecombe more than Howard.