"Assisting border control forces so that they can conduct their very important work as effectively as possible has been the introduction of various pieces of technology"
How border control forces are using the Internet of Things
The phrase Internet of Things, as well as its acronym IoT, will have you thinking about various technological advancements. 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.
As a case in point when outlining the technology, Accenture has used Germany’s Hamburg Port Authority. 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.
Instances of fraud and other crimes can also be found by analysing the data that’s gathered from IoT operations. 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.”
How border control forces are using the D3S wearable RIID
Kromek, an international technology group, has developed the handheld nuclear radiation detector deemed the D3S wearable RIID. The device has already been deployed by the New Jersey Port Authority and followed the President of the United States on one of his trips to Europe.
The device is said to be more powerful when compared to a standard RIID — or a Radiation Isotope Identification Device by its full title. 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.
The fact that the D3S wearable RIID from Kromek is a hands-free and unobtrusive gadget is also sure to capture plenty of attention. 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, which is a leading developer of high-performance radiation detection products which are based on cadmium zinc telluride, added: “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 border control forces are using drones & holographic printers
Within its report on the Tenth Annual Border Security Expo in San Antonio, Texas, VICE referenced the company Zebra Imaging and their $1 million holographic printers. 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.
It is claimed from a Zebra Imaging spokesperson that the technology will be able to be used by a person or a drone to take an aerial photograph of a border of concern. 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.
Zebra Imaging’s Director of Government Relations, Rick Black, acknowledged: "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.”
The technology can act as optimal training tools as well, the Zebra Imaging spokesperson was keen to add. 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."