A pad that can detect explosives hidden in shoes and body scanners that use artificial intelligence are just two of the new technologies that could soon be employed by airport security services.
The devices were presented this week at a showcase event in London for industry experts. The show is part of the UK government's Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) scheme.
FASS is investing millions of pounds over the next five years for the development of new aviation security solutions to help improve the ability to prevent terrorist attacks.
The innovations on show at the London event are mainly at the prototype stage.
The shoe scanner is being developed by a company called Scanna and it consists of a step-on pad with a grid of sensing electrodes to analyze shoes and what they contain. It alerts staff to anything that shouldn’t be there.
One of the necessary hassles of going through airport security is having to take coats and jackets off and removing phones from pockets. This could become a thing of the past if Sequestim's technology gets off the ground.
It is working with Cardiff University on a scanner that uses artificial intelligence and an extraordinarily sensitive millimeter wave camera to screen people on the move, only taking a few seconds to do its work. "It uses the body's natural heat as a lightbulb and any objects which are hidden beneath clothing show up as a shadow." said a Sequestim spokesperson in an interview with the BBC.
Among the other technologies presented at the event was an artificial intelligence system that analyzes images from airport X-ray scanners to identify anything that does not look right.