Like I'm not going to write about the T-Ray machine

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03/10/2008
This story is all over the place, so, of course, I feel the need to comment. Basically, ThruVision has come up with a non-invasive, passive technology for scanning people for hidden weapons, etc. And it does sound cool: Unlike current security systems that use X-rays, the ThruVision system exploits terahertz rays, or T-rays. This electromagnetic radiation is a form of low level energy emitted by all people and objects. These are able to pass through clothing, paper, ceramics and wood but are blocked by metal and water. The system works by collecting these waves and processing them to form an image which can reveal concealed objects. "If I were to look at you in terahertz you would appear to glow like a light bulb and different objects glow less brightly or more brightly," said the firm's spokesperson. "You see a silhouette of the form but you don't see surface anatomical effects." So, let me get this straight: It can find stuff made out of metal and water. 1. Metal detectors seem to work pretty well. 2. So this is for finding liquid explosives? If I'm right with assumption 2, I guess I can see the point of this. After all, anyone who wanted to hide a liquid strapped to an inner thigh could do so at any point right now and walk it onto a plane. But the applications are pretty few - aviation only, right? What are you going to do, stop all people from bringing drinks into public spaces? I'm just not sure this technology upgrade is all that interesting application-wise.