The Telegraph UK
Last Updated: 2:24AM BST 21/04/2008
Travellers at New York and Los Angeles airports will be among the first in the world to be searched using a new scanner which can see through clothes.
The millimetre wave imaging technology, which begins trials this week, creates an picture of the body which critics say amounts to a virtual strip search.
But security officials say it can show contours of the body and can pick up hidden items, such as guns or knives and may be more effective than a physical ‘pat-down’ in detecting contraband.
After the normal airport routine of walking through metal detectors, some travellers will be selected at random to go through the scanning devices, which each cost Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£75,000. Passengers will walk into a large booth and the machine will beam electromagnetic waves on to the body, creating a three-dimensional image from reflected energy.