As if the stoners and dopers weren't paranoid enough, the police may soon be able to detect whether or not you partake in one the five most popular recreational drugs: cocaine, heroin, cannabis, amphetamine, and methamphetamine.

The device is intended for roadside use by law enforcement agencies and includes a disposable plastic cartridge and a handheld analyzer. The cartridge has two components: a sample collector for gathering saliva and a measurement chamber containing magnetic nanoparticles. The particles are coated with ligands that bind to one of five different drug groups.


After 90 seconds, the device delivers its verdict on a color-coded readout. That's a lot of fancy technology to tell you that the naked, toothless guy trying to escape from the ghosts chasing him is probably high as a kite, but Philips, the company behind the tester, hopes to have the device in Europe by the end of the year. If it is successful, I would imagine that a US launch would not be far behind. [Technology Review via DVICE]