London, Feb 21 : An airport security firm has announced a prize of 500,000 dollars for developing a technique that will make airport security checks quicker and simpler.
The prize has been announced by a firm known as Verified Identity Passhat already offers quicker checkpoint services at airports for a fee.
"We're looking at moving things that are conceptual or in the lab to things that we can deploy," New Scientist quoted Jason Slibeck, a company spokesman as saying.
Any individual, company or institution that would be able to develop a technique or process that would get the customers 15 percent faster with a cost of less than 25 cents per passenger would receive the cash prize.
Slibeck said that over 150 individuals, start-ups, defence contractors and universities have shown interest in the prize announced on Feb. 13
One of the techniques been suggested include mass spectroscopy that analyses the mass-charge ratio of ions on a swab sample from a passenger's clothing or air collected from around them.
The method quickly spots traces of substances including explosives or drugs.
Another procedure suggested include terahertz scanning that detects the lectromagnetic waves naturally emitted by the body and by concealed objects by passing low-energy electromagnetic waves
The passengers would be walking through a series of cameras that detect terahertz waves through which security agents can detect whether they were concealing anything beneath their clothes.
Gary Tryon of Brijot Imaging Systems, one of several companies to have developed such detection technology said that the technology can quickly spot plastics, glass, narcotics, explosives and even wads of cash hidden beneath clothing.
Tryon thinks the company could develop a screening process that would meet the requirements of the prize.