The technologies providing assistance to border control forces

Measures followed by a country’s or bloc of countries’ border control forces enable the movement of goods, people and animals to be regulated by nations. There are many examples of technology which have provided border control forces with a helping hand to carry out their incredibly important work effectively, with the following just three standout examples…

How are border control forces using drones & holographic printers?

During their report on the Tenth Annual Border Security Expo in San Antonio, Texas, a reference to the firm Zebra Imaging and their $1 million holographic printers was made by VICE. According to the report, these machines were already being utilised at Border Control stations in El Paso, San Diego and Tucson — having initially been sold to the US military for use across Iraq and Afghanistan and producing some 14,000 images during missions throughout the Middle East.

The technology allows a person or a drone to capture an aerial photograph of a border that’s being investigated, claims a spokesperson from Zebra Imaging. That photo is then printed using the holographic printer, which can then be used to gain a better understanding of the landscape and to deploy effective missions if necessary.

Rick Black, the Director of Government Relations at Zebra Imaging, commented: “Holograms do not save lives and they do not stop bullets, but what they do is give people a cognitive idea of what’s going on around them physically. We provide you that visual sense of presence — a hologram looks so natural, you think it’s a solid model. Your brain thinks it’s a full model even though you know intellectually it’s a light pad.”

According to the spokesperson from Zebra Imaging, this technology can also act as optimal training tools. This is because the immersive holographic images can function more effectively than either maps or models are able to. Mr Black underlined this point by showing a 3D image of some borderlands in Arizona at the San Antonio expo, complete with vivid mountains. “This provides a 360-degree full view,” Mr Black acknowledged. “It’s to give the agents a presence of where they are so if they’re doing a mission plan, for instance, when I point here you all know exactly where I’m pointing.”

How are border control forces using the D3S wearable RIID?

The D3S wearable RIID has been created by international technology group Kromek, a leading developer of high-performance radiation detection products which are based on cadmium zinc telluride. It’s already been deployed by the New Jersey Port Authority and followed the President of the United States on one of his trips to Europe.

It’s claimed that the radiation monitoring device is more powerful than a standard RIID (short for a Radiation Isotope Identification Device). Furthermore, this piece of technology is designed to detect radiological threats such as radioactive contamination, dirty bombs, radiation at the scene of an accident or a terrorist attack, and the smuggling of radioactive substances.

Another eye-catching aspect of Kromek’s D3S wearable RIID is that it’s an unobtrusive and hands-free piece of technology. Simply turn the detector on and then launch the accompanying app on your smartphone and the gadget will continuously scan for radiation without anyone needing to see it in operation or potential suspects to get suspicious — any alert of radiation can be picked up by your phone either sending an announcement into your earbud or simply vibrating.

Kromek summed up the appeal of this gadget by stating: “Armed with the D3S wearable RIID, you are a walking gamma and neutron detector, able to detect even shielded sources and identify the isotopes used.”

How are border control forces using the Internet of Things?

What springs into your mind when you hear the phrase Internet of Things, or its acronym IoT? You may envision someone altering their home’s smart thermostat when sat at their office desk, or a person turning on a lightbulb using a smartphone app. However, global management consulting and professional services firm Accenture has acknowledged that custom agencies can also be using IoT to enhance their operations.

Germany’s Hamburg Port Authority has been used by Accenture as a case in point while the firm was detailing the technology. This is due to the organisation utilising the technology to improve how they monitor cargo and track journeys. Data is collected by the authority from sensors which are embedded into bridges, containers, roadways and vehicles, and then analysed. Once the analysis is complete, the findings can be delivered to officers remotely, as well as fed into schedules and assisting road authorities to channel traffic in more effective manners.

Data recorded from IoT operations can also be analysed in order to find examples of fraud and other crimes. Accenture explains: “For instance, IoT can check whether cargo actually moves along the declared routes or detect potential tampering by tracking unexpected temperature changes in containers.”

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