Just when you thought you were free of airport security checkpoints once you reached your gate, Hitachi wants to make that the last line of defence for explosives detection. Working with the Nippon Signal Company and the University of Yamanashi it's developed a high-speed gate detector that gives one last sniff for trouble as passengers board a plane.

It's claimed that flight safety would be drastically increased if passengers could be searched one last time before they take their seats, but X-ray machines and metal detectors would lead to long lines and require additional staff. But Hitachi's new gate is designed to detect minute explosive particles on boarding passes or mobile devices in just a few seconds, allowing it to autonomously inspect up to 1,200 passengers per hour. Best of all, it doesn't require passengers to empty their pockets, strip, and quietly march around under orders like they're prisoners of war instead of paying customers. [Hitachi via PhysOrg]