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If you thought mere anti-gun witch hunts were bad …

… wait ’til you see SWORD, the weapon-detecting smartphone case, currently available in vaporware.

According to its maker’s claims (and we can assume “claims” is the operative word, thank heaven), the SWORD allows its holder to scan a person from up to 40 meters away to detect the presence of a hidden weapon. Not only that, it recognizes faces and compares them against a “watch list.”

Apparently if it detects both weapon and facial threat it alerts a “security officer.”

No word on whether a mere weapon or mere facial threat alone is sufficient to bring chaos down upon the eeeeevil individual.

Oh man, can you just see the innocent people getting SWATted, busted, and/or killed with this gadget?

Can you see the innocent pocket knives, cigarette lighters, or pepper-spray guns triggering alerts?

Can you picture the lawsuits???

OTOH, can you see the bad guys who get completely missed by this fanciful gadget?

Fortunately, this particular piece of public spyware sounds like a non-starter. At $950 per case plus a $30 monthly subscription only rich idiots, corporate securitists, or cops are likely to give it a try. We can also assume that it won’t work anywhere near as creepily well as its PR says it does. Most likely it will never actually make from its current pre-order stage to market.

Still. As a harbinger of tech-to-come, this is an ill omen. Are we really headed for a day when we’re so fractured as a society and so suspicious of every passing stranger that we’ll walk the streets assuming that everyone we encounter is a mass murderer waiting to strike — and possess the tech to accuse them on the spot?

It’s almost funny, though, that the very device that’s helping to render us so oblivious to our surroundings, our omnipresent cellphone, will now pretend to grant us observational superpowers.

(H/T Shel)

15 Comments

  1. Pat
    Pat June 30, 2018 7:21 am

    Electronic dog-sniffing.

  2. Stryder
    Stryder June 30, 2018 9:42 am

    I just always figure everyone is armed and stay polite.

  3. Bear
    Bear June 30, 2018 10:48 am

    Probably uses ADE-651 technology.

    Interesting that they only registered their domain for one year.

  4. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 30, 2018 11:14 am

    Makes living in the sticks being self sufficient with slim to no neighbors look better by the moment.

  5. Claire
    Claire June 30, 2018 12:25 pm

    “Probably uses ADE-651 technology”

    LOL, seems likely, doesn’t it? And good catch on the domain name.

  6. Mike
    Mike June 30, 2018 1:53 pm

    There are so many things wrong with this… First off, up here in the Great White North there is a bit of legislation called the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The company that provides the database photos needs to have permission to release this information to the public from the individual who the information is about and from the entity from where the photo is acquired. While PIPDA has no real teeth, the lawsuits that it has spawned sure do.

    As for the weapon detection part, that will be an issue as well. Just picture a guy with a pacemaker and the pacemaker is mistaken for a weapon (bomb). Just picture a guy with a bad heart getting to enjoy a high risk take down. Or the guy who has his metal RFID shielding minimalist wallet in a shirt or coat pocket getting to deal with men in uniform screaming at him, guns drawn.

    If this comes to pass, the only place I can see use of this tech going is to court.

  7. Brad R
    Brad R June 30, 2018 2:07 pm

    Oooh, someone’s playing buzzword bingo. “Combining IoT/AI & our proprietary software.” This is not an Internet of Things device, but that’s all the rage now so they had to squeeze in that acronym somehow. And it might employ some kind of Artificial Intelligence, but I’ve seen vacuum cleaners that use AI technology, so I’m not particularly impressed. (Again, all the rage these days.) Sounds like vaporware to me — sucker a bunch of investors, then abscond.

  8. Mike
    Mike June 30, 2018 3:12 pm

    Brad R, it’s nice to read someone with a little common sense. You and Bear are probably right, it most likely is a con. Be that as it may, they sure do have a pretty website. 🙂

    https://www.royalholdings.org/

  9. Larry Arnold
    Larry Arnold June 30, 2018 3:52 pm

    So I’m strollin down the boulevard. George’s gizmo tells him I’m carryin. He calls in. Cop shows, and approaches.
    Cop: “Sir! Gizmo says you’re carrying a gun.”
    Me: “Yes, officer. On my right hip. My license is in my wallet, left back pocket.”
    Cop: “Cool. May I see your ID?”
    Me: “Sure.” I hand over my DL and LTC.
    Cop: “I see you’re also an instructor, and a veteran. Thank you for serving. Have any classes coming up?”
    Me: “I do.” I hand him my business card.
    Cop: Returns licenses. “Thanks. Have a nice day.”

    Someone scans George, and that gizmo says his gizmo looks like a gun.
    Cop: “Sir! Gizmo says you’re carrying a gun.”
    George: “Who, me? Never.”
    Cop: “Right. Do you have a license?”
    George: “But I don’t have a gun.”
    Cop: “Right. Get down on the ground!”
    George: “But I don’t have a gun! See?” He pulls his shirt up.
    Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

    Be careful what you wish for.

  10. Claire
    Claire June 30, 2018 5:30 pm

    Yup. Website and its uber-vague, generic-tech copy both seem to have come out of a can:

    https://www.royalholdings.org/

    Our unique Sentinel solutions provide a wide array of tech products to inform, support, and protect companies and individuals on a global scale.

    From large corporations to small businesses, government entities to the man in the street, our goal is to empower users worldwide with concise, real-time, verified, and actionable information before, during, and after significant events.

    That tells you a bunch, doesn’t it?

  11. fred
    fred June 30, 2018 5:55 pm

    We ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

  12. jc2k
    jc2k June 30, 2018 11:25 pm

    This is definitely a con. They’re simply taking advantage of the fear going around these days.

  13. Wilbur
    Wilbur July 1, 2018 12:22 am

    $950 +$30/mo is right up the taxpayers’ alley, so every government drone will have one.

    Simple counter: aluminum foil glued to a gun-shaped cardboard cutout, followed by an entrepreneur who processes water-cut aluminum sheet from scrap metal and sells them on ebay for $9.95 with free shipping.

    When every coat, jacket, briefcase, backpack, 3 ring binder, pizza box and dog triggers the alert the false positives will overwhelm the concept (note to self: patent metallic paint shapes of guns on the inside lid of pizza boxes before Domino’s figures it out). While that’s happening, of course, several hundred innocents, aka “damn uppity citizens,” will be accosted/arrested/shot, which may be regarded as a positive by The Local Gendarme Society.

  14. Larry Arnold
    Larry Arnold July 1, 2018 7:22 am

    Sentenal Source offers “A media intelligence subscription tailored specifically to the needs of modern newsrooms,”

    When critical events occur, the public needs accurate information. Newsrooms rush to verify and fact check an incident before breaking the story. This can take time.

    Sentinel Source streamlines the fact-gathering process by delivering verified information about terrorism and mass shootings to newsrooms across the globe within two minutes of an event.

    Two minutes? Now that would be a nice trick. And I hadn’t noticed media doing much “verify and fact check.”

  15. fred
    fred July 1, 2018 6:50 pm

    Sentinel Source streamlines the fact-gathering process by delivering verified information about terrorism and mass shootings to newsrooms across the globe within two minutes of an event============
    Heeheeheee.Isn’t that about the stupidest statement you’ve ever read!

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