back to article ThruVision camera shows weapons, not bodies

A spy-beam camera that can detect weapons, drugs or explosives hidden under people’s clothes from up to 25 metres away will be unveiled at a Home Office hardware expo this week. ThruVision's T5000 camera uses “passive imaging technology” to pick up objects by the natural electromagnetic or Terahertz frequencies – commonly known …

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Paris Hilton

Potential uses

Schools, nightclubs, my local high street. Can't think of any others though.

Paris, because she doesn't reveal physical body details either…

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Total recall anyone?

Cool! - does that mean we can look forward to walking past big screens (a la Total Recall) to be inspected rather than the tedious belt / shoe-removal dance we have to do now at airports?

All the more tedious when you know the operators aren't even looking at the x-ray screens :)

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Black Helicopters

Now where did we put that training and standards manual. . .

I have always been a big fan of technological advancement. That is, until it started falling into the hands of the indignantly untrained and ill-informed (please spare the military jokes. TSA is fair game. . .)

Exhibit A - http://www.michaelnygard.com/blog/2008/03/steve_jobs_made_me_miss_my_fli.html

"We were certain that it was an iPod shaped bomb. There was no hard drive in it. That, and he had TWO cell phones. Surely a sign of a terrorist."

I'm beginning to think I may have to hoop my AT&T SIM whenever I travel to the States.

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Uh oh

This is going to make going airsofting with my MP5 in bag very interesting....

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Excellent - sustainable surveillance

The Home Office can start publicising they are spying on the nation's groins using natural radiation generated from sustainable bodyheat and won't need to irradiate our gonads with radium after all (apart from on special occasions).

So should I stock up on tinfoil undies?

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Black Helicopters

RE: ThruVision camera shows weapons, not bodies

Right, so what's the point, then?

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a sequined dress would defeat it.

Tinfoil would work. Or just "space blanket" material as a lining.

Or a sequined dress.

Some security there, pardner ... defeated by a sequined evening dress.

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Sam
Coat

re Mike

"The Home Office can start publicising they are spying on the nation's groins using natural radiation generated from sustainable bodyheat and won't need to irradiate our gonads with radium after all (apart from on special occasions).

So should I stock up on tinfoil undies?"

No, 'cause when they zap you, the metallic undercrackers will arc to the nearest point inside them..

Sorry about the painful and disturbing mental picture.

The lead Damarts, ta.

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Coat

Well, that won't work for me...

...my body IS a weapon.

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Black Helicopters

What happened to the early version?

I saw a version of this a cople of years ago. A female demonstrator used it on herself to show how she wasn't afraid of being scanned by it at an airport. It showed a LOT of detail, as accurate as a tv image of a naked person but in grey.

I guess these newer ones blur out most of it.

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Paris Hilton

Radiation

My first thought was it was the old tech that emmited waves, but this actually doesn't, they found a way to increase the sensitivity of the reader. Not that it solves the privacy problem or will stop police from putting them up around escalators and using the rare avoidance by a non sheeple as reasonable suspicion for a stop and search.

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Shadows?

Seems to me like this operates on the principle that illegal objects create shadows in the body's emitted t-waves... So you could easily foil them by putting something between the illegal item and the camera... like more body. So it looks like they'll still need to do those full cavity searches if you look sketchy enough.

I wonder how this will affect those who carry legal sized knives - presumably shopping malls and the like can impliment their own limits on 'weapon' carrying and use this tech to regulate their populations pretty closely. Any world where I can't carry a reasonably useful (3.5 inches is nice) lockblade is a world that I don't want to be a part of.

Is there anything that makes this not seem like an invasion of privacy? I know loads of people apparently don't care about their own privacy in order to stop terrorism... but I'd rather worry about the occasional bomb than having rent-a-cops know whats in my pockets at all times.

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Flame

Mess with them.

Start wearing gun shaped cutouts of tinfoil around your waist. :o)

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Could be good

> Potential Uses

Hmm, was that all?

Apart from the obvious buttressing of already well protected sites; perhaps the primary use of such a device would be the temporary secure of an otherwise (relatively) insecure location, for instance: VIP and/or otherwise ‘targeted persons’ visits, vulnerable/critical witness protection (especially those languishing in Intensive Care), Court security for high risk Category A prisoners etc. And there’s whole a load more related scenarios along those lines.

Anything that might help prevent or deter that ‘unexpected surprise’ is most welcome; just so long as it has a reasonably good hit rate. No doubt the manufacturers are striving for that elusive (and oh so impossible) 100% hit rate, yet paradoxically, that’s probably the last thing you should want for your Protection Team. Such a belief invariably leads to complacency and that dangerous false sense of security because that’s always when the bad things can (and usually do) happen – For a grown-up there’s nothing more satisfying than a boring day, at least there is in this context!

Well we’ve already got the Arches, the Magic Wands and Rapiscan machines, I only hope they’ve made these buggers light and portable, but somehow I doubt it, life’s not like that. Anyway, I should be at the HOSDB bash on Thursday so I’ll soon see for myself.

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Ah yes...

"I know loads of people apparently don't care about their own privacy in order to stop terrorism... but I'd rather worry about the occasional bomb than having rent-a-cops know whats in my pockets at all times."

Same here. A random assault by an unarmed person is about 30 times more likely (and even then the odds are low). But for some reason we've gone terrorist nuts... Which means they've won.

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Anonymous Coward

@Nexox

"Any world where I can't carry a reasonably useful (3.5 inches is nice) lockblade is a world that I don't want to be a part of."

LOL are you friends with Ray Mears by any chance?

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Re: @Nerox

Well what if you've bought a blister packed gadget. You either wait until you get home and stab the shit out of it to get the goodies out, carry an acid dispenser or a penknife with a couple-inch long blade (kept sharp, because a blunt blade is more dangerous to use and doesn't work as well).

But no, that's carrying a concealed weapon.

Odd aside: some people were suggesting that people had no need to carry knives on display so should put them away, but this would turn the knife into a concealed weapon... Buggered coming and going.

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Anonymous Coward

Where are the boffins?

I can't believe it. A whole reg article that mentiones things like "T-waves", and not a single mention of boffins. Don't you have a style guide?

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Coat

Tinfoil hats??

They're bloody useless now, what with them "Terrorherz-waves" all over the airport, emitted by fellow travellers.

-Surely this is a wind-up? Bit early for April, maybe got released bit too early.

Mine's the tinfoil body-suit. With titanium codpiece.

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@ AC "Mess with them"

"Start wearing gun shaped cutouts of tinfoil around your waist. :o)"

This way please sir, trousers down and prepare to feel the long arm of the law...

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Stop

Everyone Look; Granddads got a nipple ring!!!

So that's an end to discretely wearing concealed body jewellery.

I can just about appreciate the use in an airport scenario where we have come to accept being regularly searched.

But having to remember to remove your nipple (insert anatomical object here) rings before going shopping just stinks; And god help anyone with more esoteric tastes!

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Boffin

@Nexox and others

Just to clear up a bit of confusion -

In the UK at least, under S139 of the Criminal justice Act 198* and various bits of case law, you can carry a non-locking pen/pocket knife, so long as the blade is shorter than 3", modulo being a complete arse with it and/or taking it to the pub/club/football ground.

* 1988 or 1989, I can't remember off the top of my head.

Oh and IANAL, I just read a fair bit.

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Boffin

Seen it

Saw the device in action at the HOSDB exhibition.

It was impressive enough, at least within the confines of it's manufacturers stated design goals. But it's certainly nothing like the imagined device so many people above got all excited about.

The Human body merely appears as largely formless glowing red blob on a blue 'un-energised' background, it was slightly wider at the top. This shape did not vary very much between individuals of different sizes and body shapes.

The pressence of a suicide bomber's vest blocked the machine's ability to detect terahertz energy thus causing a very noticable change to the average formless blob shape - and that's it!

You certainly couldn't 'see' anything tangible at all. It is not any particular susbstance, as such, that gets detected, merely absence of t-waves and this appears more significantly influenced by non-living mass than anything else.

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