A British company called ThruVision has developed a camera that can detect items such as guns, drugs and explosives under people's clothes without, for better or worse, being able to see their genitals. It holds a lot of promise for places like airport security checkpoint but stands to open up a huge can of privacy-hating worms elsewhere.
The camera is called the T5000, and it sees objects based on the Terahertz, or T-rays, that they emit. The camera works because all people and objects emit low-level electromagnetic radiation. Every material emits a different signature of Terahertz wave, which lies between infrared and microwaves on the electromagnetic spectrum. That means it can tell the difference between cocaine and flour but won't show the distinct outline of your danglers.
It's all well and good, but with the camera working from over 80 feet away you've got to wonder how long it'll be before a city starts installing these cameras on the street and arresting anybody walking around with drugs in their pockets. Where is the privacy line drawn? Will that make people safer or just make it feel like we're living in a totalitarian police state? It's tricky. Boy, I can't wait. The future is now, and it's unsettling! [Reuters]