back to article Indiegogo pulls handheld airport pervscanners off crowdfunding platform

From the department of "just because you can doesn't mean you should" comes news that Indiegogo has put the kibosh on an attempt to crowdsource a portable pervscanner. After The Reg contacted the crowdfunding platform about the creepy cam, its staffers quickly killed it, saying: "Indiegogo's Trust and Safety team removed the …

  1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    X Ray Specs

    Ah so I expect to see this fake tech offered for £10 in a copy of the Beano soon?

    1. Vector

      Re: X Ray Specs

      "Allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery"

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: X Ray Specs

      I'm sure it was Marvel comics that had those ads. Along with a great many other miraculous gadgets that we 1960s Brit kids could only dream of buying.

  2. }{amis}{ Silver badge

    Got to be a scam??

    Haven seen the guts of one of the perv scanner's under repair when I went on holiday last year I would love to know how this guy managed to shrink a couple of hundred kilos of cutting-edge radio gear into a ~1kg handheld!

    Until I see actual proof I am going to assume this is just the raving of a dumber than average con man!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Got to be a scam??

      Forget the miniaturisation of all that radio gear... the REALLY clever part of this wrist mounted, RF fap-fest device is the very impressive piece of software that performs the image stabilisation.

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Got to be a scam??

      "Haven seen the guts of one of the perv scanner's under repair when I went on holiday last year"

      That would have been a millimeter wave scanner which creates a 3D image, backscatter x-ray only created a 2d image and was removed from airports in the US and EU in 2013.

      Either way I imagine this device would have just been an IR camera designed to work at the specific wavelengths that easily go though cloths.

    3. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: }{amis}{

      This guy claims finished product will be wrist mounted. Since this is Indiegogo it will likely be bigger than a backpack and no one who funded it will actually receive one anyway.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: }{amis}{

        This guy claims finished product will be wrist mounted.

        Does it have motion stabilisation as well?

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: }{amis}{

        Wrist mounted - it didn't say anything about portable.

        A tank with a handcuff welded on is "wrist mounted"

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: }{amis}{

          didnt sony get into hot water a few years ago with a model of camcorder that could do a nifty job with IR filters? that was stabilised and with 90s tech. easily doable with IR. not so much with x ray backscatter or mmwr

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: }{amis}{

            From memory, the sensor was capable of picking up IR as well as visible, which is not unusual - many camera sensors are actually more sensitive in the near IR than in the visible range. The unusual difference with this camera was that it did not have an internal IR blocking filter. Hence if you stuck a visible-block, IR-passthrough filter on the front you got a pure IR camera. They then revised the model to have an internal IR filter.

            I had the later model.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: }{amis}{

              Hmmm. I have a modified full-spectrum still camera (Canon G10) that I use for IR photography with various filters. Never occured to me to try pointing it at people.

      3. PM from Hell
        Thumb Up

        Wrist Mounted?

        Bearing in mind what its going to be used for it may need some very very good image stabilisation

  3. DropBear Silver badge

    I think I need to lay down a bit....

    Whoa, slow down there! All these technical details of how a wrist-mounted gadget is supposed to not only generate but also image with x-rays, backscatter or not, are sending my head spinning! Yeah I know this is a site for techies but that's no reason to overwhelm the reader like this describing the technology it's supposed to be using...!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    from what i can tell, the images really arent fap-worthy. ur better off just imagining the other person naked.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm reassured by your faith in humanity.

      Unfortunately your faith is entirely misplaced...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "ur better off just imagining the other person naked."

      The human animal is always curious about what is hidden or partially glimpsed. Our imagination then fills in the detail based on our desires, fears, or (mis)education.

    3. Len Silver badge

      I was just about to say the same thing. 90% of people don't look that great without their clothes on to begin with (ever been to a nudist beach or a sauna?).

      And even if they could look great underneath their clothes you'd probably catch some low contrast monochrome image of someone's body parts squashed by clothes/underwear or in unflattering positions because they're commuting on public transport, not posing at a beach club.

  5. James 51 Silver badge

    The next celeb nude scandal is going to be from airport scanners and tech like this. Pretty soon it won't just be hats that are lined with tin foil.

    I know images aren't suppose to be saved and operators see the screen at the queue and it's a stick outline but it stretches my credulity past breaking point to think these images are not saved. If someone manages to smuggle something past a scanner and brings down a plane, those images will be needed for the investigation and determine what the vulnerability was that let the contraband through. Now imagine that capability in the hands of paparazzi who could target you from meters away and through your clothes. Or nasty ex-partners for that matter.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      They would get a more scandalous celeb nude by just photoshopping a with-clothes picture. The resolution of these scanners is pathetic.

      You might just about be able to work out whether a push-up bra is in use, but that's about it for the ladies. For the men, you could determine a bit more, but frankly nobody would bother.

  6. noboard

    It's time

    to start my x-ray specs campaign. They have black rims, a white and red spiral pattern that allows you to see through things and probably work as well as his camera.

    1. hopkinse

      Re: It's time

      Was it you who ripped me off with that advert in Viz?

  7. TRT Silver badge

    Meh. Was never going to appear. Scam ware.

    I saw straight through it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh. Was never going to appear. Scam ware.

      "I saw straight through it."

      It obviously wasn't solid enough.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Meh. Was never going to appear. Scam ware.

        aint that the naked truth.

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    Creepier thought

    Making this kind is device is creepy, but those who buy them are even creepier.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Creepier thought

      Enabling creepy behaviour is very creepy, I'd argue creepier than just being a sad lonely perv.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Creepier thought

        "Enabling creepy behaviour is very creepy, I'd argue creepier than just being a sad lonely perv."

        But it's been decided this is vapourware. So this is ripping off creepy people, which is...good? Bad? I cannot tell any more.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Creepier thought

      Creepy and stupid.Not a good mix

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if it can be made it will be made

    Give it a year or two and then voila, direct from aliexpress, never mind USD 250, how about $9.99? :/

  10. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "What a time to be alive"

    You mean, compared to the times when random women were burnt for witchery, when the plague was killing one on three or when all men between 17 and 50 were sent as cattle to the Front?

    IMHO, our times are not so bad to be lived, aren't they?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "What a time to be alive"

      They weren't random, they were put on scales with a duck. I saw it in a documentary about the middle ages.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "What a time to be alive"

        So a fairer trial than in certain modern countries I could mention

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: "What a time to be alive"

      "Four Yorkshiremen" should be all the proof you need that there's no situation bad enough that couldn't be imagined being worse with a little creativity; that does not mean that the comparatively better situation is not pretty fucking bad regardless. Yes, right now we're better off that your examples. No, in spite of that, objectively speaking we're nowhere near "good enough" or even "acceptable". Modern existence may be a take it or leave it deal and not immediately life-threatening but that doesn't mean we have to like it...

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: "What a time to be alive"

        "No, in spite of that, objectively speaking we're nowhere near "good enough" or even "acceptable". "

        It is, however, the best time in all of history. Given certain existential threats (climate change, antibiotic catastrophe, killer AI) on the horizon, it might well be that this is the best time without restrictions.

        And it's only nowhere near good enough because people are nowhere near good enough. Well, I say people, but I obviously mean everybody but me.

  11. Milton Silver badge

    Getting to the bottom of things ...

    ... forgive the atrocious pun, but (a) this is El Reg, so there are many worse floating about already, and (b) this topic is so thoroughly unpleasant that I feel the need to introduce a note of levity.

    So here is the question: why do we consider it difficult for a suicide bomber to get a bomb aboard an aircraft? If we're talking about a committed lunatic (which, let's face it, you have to be to want to kill a few hundred innocent civilians), then some risk and discomfort don't count for much. Nor does dignity.

    I don't believe that the aforementioned lunatic, dieted and otherwise well prepared, could not fit at least two pounds of HE where the sun don't shine. Neither watery eyes nor a slight waddle ever barred anyone from boarding a plane. The battery and active parts of a detonator are trivial to conceal in something no larger than a ballpoint, which is also ideally shaped to be inserted in its (very) final destination.

    And if you're going to that much trouble, it's worth the effort of researching your tail number, seat plan, and figuring which toilet is the best one for effect: all information easily available on the net.

    The good news is, wannabe terrorist loonies are apparently badly educated, unimaginative cowards. If they weren't, we'd be knee-deep in trouble. The worry is that some new crop of aggrieved nutcases will turn up with all the righteous anger preserved— and a half-decent scientific education.

    Heck, they get as much attention and disruption for failing as for succeeding. Planes are strong. It wouldn't be the first time a jetliner has landed safely with a chunk of fuselage missing, although this might be messier than most. It's commonly pointed out that airport security is mostly theatre, especially the absurdites of America's TSA nincompoops: but what good is it really, against a determined and clever foe?

    I'm not going there, but anyone who knows a bit about airliners and their catastrophic failure modes will be able to work it out.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Getting to the bottom of things ...

      Please let them. The human body is rather sturdy. 2 pounds of HE "down there" isn't going to do much damage. Someone has already tried, but body surrounding flesh and bone dampens much of the blast and it didn't have much effect. I'm NOT going to google that for you though. I don't need to be on any more watch lists than I am probably already on.

  12. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    "Want to see people without clothes?"

    If so, there are plenty of web sites out there supplying such pictures and movies anyway.

    Wasn't there some sort of moral panic over camcorders (*) with infrared capabilities being able to "look through clothes" back whenever?

    (*) Youngsters, ask an old person.

  13. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    There was an excellent reason for not having airport scanners

    They cost a bomb but could not detect them.

    The perviness was never a real problem.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This sounds similar to the unit a certain Ms J Ellsworth built a while ago but far more advanced.

    Used from memory parts recycled from LNBs and modifications so it could do Doppler imaging.

    A higher resolution and smaller version would use 22 GHz Gunnplexers on a rotating scanner.

    The device I planned to build as part of my EmDrive research was actually very similar except in this case the three modules would be stacked vertically instead of at 120 degree angles.

    The big problem with X-ray based units is getting the 300+ KV needed for that tiny tube.

    You'd need to be incredibly careful as X-rays generally are not good for anything living

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