Some visitors to Colorado’s Douglas County justice center yesterday thought they were being screened by a snazzy, new metal detector. Instead, the facility is the first in the U.S. to use a combination of a whole-body imager and metal detector to screen for a wide array of weapons and contraband, Scott Ortolani of L-3 Communications, which makes the device, told the Denver Post. The $250,000 millimeter-wave machine uses rotating antennas to produce an electronically stripped-down, 360-degree holographic image of the body.
Several airports are using L-3 whole-body scanners in pilot programs, but the machine that started operating at the justice center is the first to combine metal detecting and body imaging, Ortolani said. The body image appears on a shielded computer screen nearby, where a security officer verifies that the person is not carrying anything suspicious. “The technology instantly discriminates between your body and virtually anything else, including plastic, ceramic, metal, paper, rubber and explosives,” the county says. “Your scan is deleted immediately after analysis. At no time is your identity or privacy compromised.”