The 8th Annual Border Security Expo kicked off yesterday, with 125 companies gathering in the Phoenix Convention Center to show off their latest technologies. Environmentally friendly products like solar powered drones and electric cars seemed to be the big trend this year, enabling border officials to simultaneously crack down on immigration and save the planet.
But along with the standard high-tech surveillance systems and many, many guns, some of exhibits featured pretty cool products. Forget border officials, here's the top five coolest technologies we wish we had.
5.) ID Authentication Systems
While it's not a new technology, these automated ID authentication systems from Regula Forensics are about as sophisticated as you can get. After scanning driver's licenses or passports, regular and infrared scans are processed through a computer which verifies whether or not the ID is, in fact, legit. Perfect for those underage drinkers with a spare $50,000 who want to check whether the "real" ID they bought from China actually checks out. Oh, and I guess the border patrol could find it useful as well.
4.) Drug detector that sort of looks like a really old Game Boy
The brand-new Xpose is a frontrunner in new contraband detecting devices, according distributor Richard Kirkpatrick. Users run the Xpose along the surface of objects that may be used to smuggle drugs, like a car. The Xpose calculates the density of the object on a screen reminiscent of a TI-84 calculator.
"If there's any change in the numbers (on the screen), there's something hidden," Kirkpatrick says.
And if border officials are trying to play it cool before making a bust, they can always pretend they're playing Donkey Kong.
3.) Long Range Multi Sensor Thermal Imaging
Aside from winning creepiest slogan with the slightly disturbing "We See Everything," SPI Corp also showed off a pretty sweet vision device that, can, in fact, see everything up to 10 kilometers. Night vision, infrared light, heat sensors- no one gets past this bad boy.
2.) Hollow trees
They can hide cameras, valuables, and . . . actual people. Timberspy, which advertises itself as "The Pinnacle of Covert Concealment Technology," prides itself on creating hollow logs, rocks, and cacti that look as close to the real thing as possible.
"We first make a mold from an existing tree, then create our models from polyurethane foam," Timberspy Representative Kelsey Mohaman says. "Then we carve the top with a butter knife to make it look as realistic as possible."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
While pine tree logs may look a little out of place next to the border, here's hoping border officials start hiding in giant hollow saguaros.
1.) Taser-resistant clothing
It's the perfect opportunity to pretend that you have a superhuman immunity to tasing. The awesomely-named company ThorShield provides shirts, pants and gloves that absorb a taser's electrical currents, so the wearer doesn't feel a thing. The fabric looks and feels identical to normal fabric, but it's also resistant to fire. The same company makes bulletproof vests that are also shock resistant, thus fulfilling the ultimate human desire to be an indestructible badass.
Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.