… 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.