An insight into the technology protecting our borders

Modern technology has allowed our border controls to become safer, with a greater focus on monitoring all kinds of imports. Join us as we take a look at the new technology that is being introduced to better assist border control forces with their very important work…

The rise of drones and holographic printers

Zebra Imaging announced that they intend on releasing a holographic printer at a high price of $1 million – according to reports from the Annual Border Security Expo in Texas. According to the report, these machines were already being utilised at Border Control stations in El Paso, San Diego and Tucson — having initially been sold to the US military for use across Iraq and Afghanistan and producing some 14,000 images during missions throughout the Middle East.

This drone will allow authorities to have a greater overall view on what is happening, with the ability to have an eye in the sky. Photos as those discussed above are then printed using the holographic printer, which can then be used to gain a better understanding of the landscape and to deploy effective missions if necessary.

The developers of the technology believe that this can also assist with border control staff training. Director of Government Relations at Zebra Imaging, Rich Black underlined this point by showing a 3D image of some borderlands in Arizona at the San Antonio expo, complete with vivid mountains. “This provides a 360-degree full view,” Mr Black acknowledged. “It’s to give the agents a presence of where they are so if they’re doing a mission plan, for instance, when I point here you all know exactly where I’m pointing.

“Holograms do not save lives and they do not stop bullets, but what they do is give people a cognitive idea of what’s going on around them physically. We provide you that visual sense of presence — a hologram looks so natural, you think it’s a solid model. Your brain thinks it’s a full model even though you know intellectually it’s a light pad”.

The rise of D3S wearable RIID

Radioactive sensor specialists, Kromek, recently released D3S wearable RIID (Radioactive Isotope Identification Device) which has become popular with governing authorities. So much so, that the New Jersey Port Authority and monitored the President of the United States throughout his trips across Europe.

With terror threats at severe risk levels across different countries, RIID can detect any radiological threat. The D3S is much more sophisticated than the standard version due to its hand-free capabilities. Simply turn the detector on and then launch the accompanying app on your smartphone and the gadget will continuously scan for radiation without anyone needing to see it in operation or potential suspects to get suspicious — any alert of radiation can be picked up by your phone either sending an announcement into your earbud or simply vibrating.

The company stated: “Armed with the D3S wearable RIID, you are a walking gamma and neutron detector, able to detect even shielded sources and identify the isotopes used.”

The rise of Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has transformed the tech sector, and businesses alike. However, global management consulting and professional services firm Accenture has acknowledged that custom agencies can also be using IoT to enhance their operations.

To maintain a close eye on freights, the Hamburg Port Authority is using it. Data is collected by the authority from sensors which are embedded into bridges, containers, roadways and vehicles, and then analysed. Once the analysis is complete, the findings can be delivered to officers remotely, as well as fed into schedules and assisting road authorities to channel traffic in more effective manners.

Accenture notes: “For instance, IoT can check whether cargo actually moves along the declared routes or detect potential tampering by tracking unexpected temperature changes in containers.”


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Written by Nathaniel Fried

Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

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