The Indianapolis Airport has one of those GE “puffer” machines. It’s not neccessarily used in secondary security screenings as happened to this woman – I’ve been through it the last two times I headed back to Chicago. It was the shortest line, so I stepped into it.

Here’s what it is:

GE Ion Track’s revolutionary walk-through portal quickly screens people for contraband without physical contact. Thanks to our patented Ion Trap Mobility Spectrometer (ITMS®) technology, EntryScan3 detects a wider range of explosives and narcotics with unprecedented sensitivity. It is the ideal complement to X-ray and metal detectors.

For higher throughput, visible and audible commands streamline checkpoints by automatically directing passengers to enter or leave the portal. If traces of explosives or narcotics are detected-or a person leaves before being prompted-EntryScan3 instantly sounds an alarm to facilitate rapid containment.

“To facilitate rapid containment.”

Oh, how I love techno-terror-babble.

Here’s what it looks like:

The “puffs” of air are just like those puffs you have to get when they check your eyes for.. what is it? Cataracts or something. Not terribly pleasant.

It’s an odd, science-fictional little machine. You have to stand there inside the machine and wait for it to blast you with air. Then wait some more for the voice to tell you you’re “allowed” to step out.

Just one more fun contrapment to run us all through so we’ll feel more safe and secure under the watchful eye of Big Brother.

Perhaps it’s better than drug-sniffing dogs and AK-47s.

Perhaps.

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