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TSA Testing New Technologies For Airport Security Screening

The TSA and manufacturers are scrambling for better airport security solutions. They're testing all manner of technologies, from screening chemicals in liquids to new uses for RFID.
ThingMagic's Kevin Ashton recalls an application that embeds an RFID tag into the boarding pass and checked-luggage tag. The vice president for the RFID reader manufacturer says the chip would match the luggage tag with the passenger, and locate him while in the terminal if they didn't show up to board the flight on time.

The "registered travelers' program" being conducted at an Orlando, Fla., airport aims to speed select travelers through security lines. Travelers are issued cards that have an embedded radio frequency identification chip.

RFID also has been tested at the McCarran airport in Las Vegas, Nev. to track luggage. Although RFID can't detect weapons, or chemicals in liquids, it could assist to prevent the chaos Heathrow has endured in recent days.

Around 10,000 pieces of luggage checked in by British Airways passengers have gone missing at airports since the United Kingdom security alert began, the BBC reports.

A little known company called CompEx Inc. has developed an application that uses RFID technology to identify the person as they walk into the terminal, check in luggage, and proceed through security to the boarding gate.

The system is based on "a loosely coupled cluster of servers connected through an IP-based network," said CompEx Inc. President Aram Kovach. "We connect wireless peripherals to this network that aggregate the data to an Oracle database on the backend."

The Oracle Inc. database pulls in and stores information so TSA agents can review any passenger's itinerary, images of the carry-on and checked luggage.

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