i wonder if they’ll retire all the police dogs..
Laser-Based Molecular Scanner Can Remotely Detect Minute Quantities of Explosives, Drugs, Adrenaline Anytime, Anywhere, Without You Knowing About It
The small, inconspicuous machine is attached to a computer running a program that will show the information in real time, from trace amounts of cocaine on your dollar bills to gunpowder residue on your shoes. Forget trying to sneak a bottle of water past security—they will be able to tell what you had for breakfast in an instant while you’re walking down the hallway.
The technology is not new, it’s just millions times faster and more convenient than ever before. Back in 2008, a team at George Washington University developed a similar laser spectrometer using a different process. It could sense drug metabolites in urine in less than a second, trace amounts of explosive residue on a dollar bill, and even certain chemical changes happening in a plant leaf.
And the Russians also have a similar technology: announced last April, their “laser sensor can pick up on a single molecule in a million from up to 50 meters away.” So if Genia Photonics’ claims pan out, this will be an incredible leap forward in terms of speed, portability, and convenience. One with staggering implications.
There has so far been no discussion about the personal rights and privacy issues involved. Which “molecular tags” will they be scanning for? Who determines them? What are the threshold levels of this scanning?
If you unknowingly stepped on the butt of someone’s joint and are carrying a sugar-sized grain of cannabis like that unfortunate traveler currently in jail in Dubai, will you be arrested? And, since it’s extremely portable, will this technology extend beyone the airport or border crossings and into police cars, with officers looking for people on the street with increased levels of adrenaline in their system to detain in order to prevent potential violent outbursts? And will your car be scanned at stoplights for any trace amounts of suspicious substances? Would all this information be recorded anywhere?
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