No one wants to board a plane with a terrorist, but neither would travelers much enjoy being marched through an irradiating x-ray machine that flashes their naked body to TSA workers. The British company Thruvision’s T5000 is the first security camera to spot a wide range of concealed contraband—bombs, guns, drugs, liquids and plastic explosives—without revealing anatomical details. The T5000 picks up faint electromagnetic signals known as terahertz waves, or T-rays, naturally emitted by all people and things. From 80 feet away, the camera can detect the difference between unique T-rays beaming off passengers and those coming from an object. Concealed goods show up onscreen as an outline against a G-rated silhouette of a body. The camera can even scan people in motion, a feature that could speed up security lines and make it ideal for public venues like malls and stadiums. And unlike an x-ray, the T5000 doesn’t emit dangerous ionizing energy—or anything at all—so there’s no harm to operators or to people being scanned.
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