American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

Airport Security Just Got That Much Scarier… Er… Safer

Posted by Matt Cipriano | No Comments

This week we have announcements of two developments that are bound to help out with airport security, protecting us from all thoe people planning to plant weapons in their shoes and making all of our lives easier by not having to take our shoes off at the airport.

First up we have the MagShoe “a high-speed, shoes-on, portable footwear weapons detection system.” It is currently used in Madrid, Prague and Budapest and may be making its way to the US and the UK. Basically it scans your feet for concealed metal objects that may be missed by your standard metal detector. I have to ask though, how does it respond to things like steel-toed boots or shoes with metal shanks (though apparently shoe manufacturers have been dealing with this issue since 2003).

Next up we have the T-Ray. Similar to the X-Ray, the T-ray (it stands for terahertz radiation) allows a person to see through objects like clothes and such. It is believed to be less harmful then X-ray (Energetic High-Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation would be what X-Ray stands for… oddly no Xs present in that one). The T-ray isn’t exactly new, in fact the T-ray has been around at least since 1995 and a T-ray camera was developed back in 2003 that showed, through its pictures, that you could identify a gun under an individuals clothes. The problem all this time was apparently that producing T-rays required a lot of large equipment, now researchers think they may have found a way to do it with far less equipment. The T-ray can also look through almost a 1/2 inch of skin meaning it may have some medical uses as well once everything is fine tuned and ready to go. Theoretically this would make for easier airport screening and, working “X-Ray Specs” as well. In reality it is still a bit off from actually being used. Let’s hope they come up with some better airport screening in the meanwhile.


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