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"I'm a fairly visual thinker. In doing science, I think in terms of pictures of things happening, and then do the mathematics."
- Gregory Benford

Pocket Scanner  
  A device that scans for the codes that will open a vehicle's door on command.  

Tanger is apparently safe in an automated taxi but is being pursued by an enemy on foot.

A reaching hand grabbed the exterior handle and tugged experimentally. Chal was not surprised to find the door locked... Krishna damn all interfering witnesses, he thought as he dug into a pants pocket and withdrew his scanner. Keeping pace with the slowly moving taxi, he spoke sharply into the device.

As soon as he saw his pursuer take out the pocket scanner, Taneer activated several programs built into his command bracelet...

From Sagramanda, by Alan Dean Foster.
Published by Pyr in 2006
Additional resources -

Compare to the cop block from Quantico (2007) by Greg Bear and the police control-override from A Plague of Demons (1965) by Keith Laumer.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Sagramanda
  More Ideas and Technology by Alan Dean Foster
  Tech news articles related to Sagramanda
  Tech news articles related to works by Alan Dean Foster

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