'Tunnel Of Truth' Total Recall-Style

A "tunnel of truth" is being recommended by Transportation Security Laboratory Director Susan Hallowell as the ideal answer for airline security problems. SF film fans think they've seen this idea before.


(Security tunnel in Total Recall)

In the 1990 movie Total Recall, passengers went through an x-ray passageway; all of the details were shown, right down to the bones and phones.

Hallowell wants passengers to stand on a conveyor belt where they move through a passage with a variety of sensors. People can conveniently be scanned for prohibited items using the following technologies:

  • Backscatter X-ray machine
    Can see underneath clothing.
  • Passive and active millimeter wave sensors
    Can outline metallic objects.
  • Puffer machines
    Can dislodge telltale molecules from passengers and their clothing for analysis.
  • Heat sensors
    Can differentiate between human heat signatures and those of suspicious devices.
I'm wondering whether or not the security people will be able to control the conveyor belt like they do with the one used for baggage. You'd be standing on the belt, and then all of a sudden they'd move you back and forth a few times, checking out every little detail...

It will be a while before the different technologies can be integrated into a "tunnel of truth" - but security people can dream, can't they?

And in the meantime, they can rent Total Recall to see the work of earlier dreamers.

Via Transportation Lab Seeks Radical Change at Airport Checkpoints; thanks to Moira for the tip on this item.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/14/2008)

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