Manning a checkpoint? Put a CounterBomber on your Xmas list

When it comes to spotting suicide bombers, a new radar product spliced with advanced software could give ethnic profiling a run for its money.

Best watch your step. New strides in radar and gait-analysis software could soon alert authorities to someone packing a bomb from up to 50 yards away, Virginia-based SET told MIT Technology Review.

SET's CounterBomber system detects suicide bombers from a safe (OK, safer) distance by directing a low-power radar beam at the approaching subject. Ideally, the device would be augmented "with video-analysis software that spots bombers by discerning subtle differences in gait that occur when people carry heavy objects."

And the bashful need not worry: This new radar-image technology is supposedly able to reveal concealed objects without "creating an under-the-clothes image that would violate the person's privacy."

Customers might include airports and military bases and maybe ballparks seeking to interdict the illicit six-pack. Look for a CounterBomber in your neighborhood this fall.

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    The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at Disclosure.


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