Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/10/thruvision_tray_camera_t5000/

ThruVision camera shows weapons, not bodies

Home Office gets first demo

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Law, 10th March 2008 15:48 GMT

A spy-beam camera that can detect weapons, drugs or explosives hidden under people’s clothes from up to 25 metres away will be unveiled at a Home Office hardware expo this week.

ThruVision's T5000 camera uses “passive imaging technology” to pick up objects by the natural electromagnetic or Terahertz frequencies – commonly known as t-rays – that they give off.

The company claims the camera can spot hidden objects from up to 80 feet away and added that it can also detect items when people are moving.

ThruVision said that the powerful camera doesn’t reveal physical body details and added that the screening wouldn’t cause any harm to the individual being monitored.

The T5000, which was developed in partnership with the European Space Agency, could be used in shopping malls, airports and other busy locations that terrorists might consider targeting, the firm said.

"The ability to see both metallic and non-metallic items on people out to 25 metres is certainly a key capability that will enhance any comprehensive security system," said ThruVision CEO Clive Beattie.

Terahertz frequencies are situated somewhere between electronics and optics on the electromagnetic spectrum. The camera works by scanning the t-rays naturally emitted by human bodies and using automated software to check for non-emitting materials like metal, plastic, or ceramics.

However, ThruVision isn’t the first company to produce a technology that can detect foreign objects carried on the human body. British international defence and security firm QinetiQ has already developed and sold to the US Dept of Homeland Security what it likes to refer to as “millimetre wave” crowd-scanning equipment.

ThruVision said it will demonstrate the new camera at a Home Office-sponsored scientific development exhibition on 12 and 13 March. Organisers say the show will feature 200 exhibitors showing off 3,000 products in categories such as imaging, search equipment and body armour. ®