Tribune de Genève
You arrive very late at the airport. You run to the security check area lucky enough to find there is no queue. Unfortunately the time it takes to remove your shoes, have them scanned, and put them on again, is enough to make you miss your flight. Or, the person in front of you in the security queue, with the world’s worst smelling feet, is asked to remove his shoes.
These are two scenarios that will soon be banished from Geneva’s airport. A team of inventors at the Vaud company Sedect SA in conjunction with EPFL have worked for around two years to produce a mat that uses electromagnets to detect metal in shoes.
Two mats have been trialled since 2012. The airport hopes to install around 30 of the “magic mats” between now and the end of 2016. The Instagram video above shows the mat in action. According to the airport’s chief of security, the idea is to check shoes before people pass through the scanner, avoiding setting off the alarm and needing to redo checks.
At peak times when around 3,000 people are coming through an hour, the device will allow another 150 or more to be screened, an extra 5%, reckons airport security head Ruben Jimenez.
According to Tribune de Genève, the cost of 37 mats could be between CHF 700,000 and CHF 1.1 million.