As part of continuing efforts to increase homeland security at airports, while reducing passenger tension and departure delays, U.S. security officials will begin testing MagShoe scanners. The devices scan footwear and lower extremities for concealed metals, without requiring people to remove their shoes.

After pilot testing the scanners at the Jacksonville airport, results will be presented to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for possible broader adoption and use throughout U.S. airports. To expedite the process of obtaining TSA approval, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has joined the consulting team of MagShoe’s manufacturer--New York City-based Ido Security Inc., which also has a home base in Israel.

Current walk-through metal detectors in airports require passengers to remove their footwear during the screening process. In contrast, MagShoe detects both ferrous and nonferrous metals concealed on or in footwear, ankles and feet through the use of electro-magnetic fields, allowing individuals to be screened without shoe removal.

A person just stands on a MagShoe device with their shoes on, similar to stepping on a scale. Within 1.5 secs., the scanner automatically tests for the presence of metals and displays results to security personnel.

The scanner’s alphanumeric display and lightbars show the amount of metal detected in each part of one’s shoe, enabling the system’s operator to see results in a glance. Any metal amount that is above the programmed threshold triggers an audible alarm and appears as a bright red light on the scanner’s display screen.

MagShoe detects a full range of object sizes, ranging from a cardboard knife blade to handguns, gun parts and larger objects. The scanner identifies and ignores normal metal parts that are customarily found in shoes.

Each scanner includes an internal backup battery for reliable operation in the event of a power failure. MagShoe costs an estimated $7,000.

MagShoe currently is used throughout Europe and Africa at sites such as Madrid’s Barajas International Airport; The Czech Republic’s Prague International Airport; Kenya’s Mombassa and Nairobi International Airports, and Slovakia’s Bratislava International Airport.

The shoe scanner also is being used by Israel’s National Security Agency, The Prime Minister’s Personal Protection Unit, Israel’s Parliament Building, Ministry of Defense, Social Security Offices, courthouses and border crossings. In addition, MagShoe is in use at the Royal Australian Mint to prevent coins from being hidden inside shoes.

For more information about MagShoe, visit http://www.idosecurityinc.com/.