We all know the drill with airport security: Pockets empty, laptop out, shoes and dignity off. Degrading, but anything for safety, right? Next-gen Explosive Trace Detectors promise that we'll at least get to keep our shoes on.
An explosives trace-detection portal—more commonly known as a "puffer machine," because puffees are blasted with multiple puffs of air to dislodge particles trapped on hair, the body, clothing and shoes, which are collected and analyzed by the machine—is used to detect trace amounts of explosives and drugs. Normally it's used as a secondary device in addition to the standard "strangers with benefits" pat downs and backscatter x-rays.