The average passenger doesn't really get excited about going through airport security in the US, but as it turns out, the Transportation Security Administration isn't particularly interested in feeling you up either. And it's actively looking for a way not to.
The Department of Homeland Security (which oversees the TSA) wants to nix the pat-down by creating handheld scanners that would determine if a person is wearing something threatening under his or her clothing. It's put out queries to technology companies for a device that would weigh less than 2.2kg and can detect a hidden object within 15 seconds. Ideally, the tool would be able to sniff out explosives and metal.
There's no official word as to when we'll start seeing this gadget in airports, but planning and testing will take at least a year. In the meantime, the next time you travel through the US, remember that the TSA worker examining you is probably just as annoyed as you are. [Houston Chronicle via Consumerist]