The Royal Society

Searching for security

Posted by on 18 July 2011

Summer is here and many of you will be flying off to distant countries this month. While you’re waiting in line at the airport security check why not consider the machine your possessions are being put into. These airport scanning devices display x ray images of your bags that the people behind them search for any dangerous contents. Here Dr Tamaryn Menneer discusses how the human visual system works when it is scanning for objects on computer displays. Looking for one kind of object seems to be a lot easier than trying to find two different kinds of objects as she has found that a lot of people tend to look at more irrelevant objects in the latter tests. Listen to the following podcast to find out more about this exhibit Guns, knives, and bombs: spotting weapons in baggage x-rays.