TSA has a new red button

tsa_logo.gif …At least I think it’s new. Never encountered this yet at any airport until yesterday. And I wasn’t about to get delayed home for taking a picture so I’ll just describe it.
After stepping through the metal detector, the TSA personnel asks you to push a red button. I asked, which red button since there was this thing covered up in mesh or something and I assumed I had to push right in the middle. The TSA guy pointed to the red button to the side. Interestingly enough, I push the button and I was done.
The button itself wasn’t a biometric sensor as far as I could tell, just a standard red button. But the covered up ‘mesh/tape or whatever it was’ area was more interesting. As I was putting on my shoes, I looked back and noticed that the device was tied to a laptop. If the person pushes the red button, and it flashes green, then they’re good. If it flashes red, then they have to go through more screening.
Which made me wonder. Was that middle area a camera? And if so, is TSA using facial recognition software? That would mean that there’s a database somewhere that it’s being tied into but I don’t know for sure. All I know is that I’ve never seen this before and found it quite interesting considering I travel enough on business to have seen all the fun security things including the shoe air puffer. The entire thing could be much more simple, but I’m just curious as to if anyone knows what that was and what it does since it was only in a smaller airport where I saw it.
Definitely something that captures your attention when it’s change out of the usual security travel habits of “take off shoes, take out laptop, put in bin, put stuff on conveyor, walk through detector, grab stuff off conveyor, move along.”

  • You should hear Adam Curry (US Citizen) complain about his TSA screenings each time he enters the US from his home in England. He talks about it with John Dvorak (No Agenda Podcast) and on his podcast.

  • You should hear Adam Curry (US Citizen) complain about his TSA screenings each time he enters the US from his home in England. He talks about it with John Dvorak (No Agenda Podcast) and on his podcast.