TMCnet Feature
April 03, 2013

Sci-Fi Security Becomes Reality

Most people would love to have just one gadget they’ve seen in their favorite science fiction movie, but feel that we're stuck in a dated present, far from the future. However, the breakneck pace of technological development is putting some innovative and cutting-edge technologies within the reach of a homeowner or business owner who wants to safeguard his or her property and family.

Here are five Sci-Fi gadgets that are now making their way into homes everywhere.

1. Optics
Seen in Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan and The Simpsons Movie

The unlawful and unannounced infiltration of a home or business is the worst nightmare of a parent who fears for their children’s safety, and a boss who fears for the company’s data. Security guards can be sloppy, paid off or attacked. A computer system that requires an iris scan, something most people believe is impossible to fake, is much more robust and can do a lot for those looking to move the traditional security guard.

Iris scans can be used to control entry, and also permit or restrict the use of certain appliances or computer terminals. This biometric technology is also being used by developing countries, specifically Afghanistan and India, to create national identification databases, furthering security of a different breed.

2. Robot Guard Dogs
Seen in Dr.Who

Dogs have always been a man's best friend, but can robots in the shape of dogs be a man's best security guard? Once the purview of science fiction video games like Deus Ex: Invisible War, robot guard dogs have been used to protect homes and even locate vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi networks, by literally moving from place to place to detect weaknesses and areas of potential infiltration.

Man’s 21st-century best friend can also intercept unpermitted content being sent across a wireless network, the same way a real dog can be trained to sniff out explosives, drugs or other contraband.

3. PalmPrint Recognition 
Seen in the Terminator 2:  Judgment Day

Like optical recognition and the kind of technology seen in movies like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, palm recognition is more advanced than simply using fingerprints to grant or deny access to a premises, or use facilities once inside. The basic premise is the same: a computer scans a person's palm print, and either offers them access or rejects their credentials – but using palm prints over basic fingerprints adds an extra layer of complexity and security that intruders would find hard to crack.

4. Laser Tripwires
Seen in Mission Impossible

No longer the purview of space stations and secret lairs, laser tripwires are easy to assemble for protecting homes and businesses against invasion, should you think  traditional home security is insufficient.

Today, the technology for laser tripwires isn’t complicated compared to some other innovations. Essentially, a computer program reads the voltage provided by a laser beam, and if the beam is broken by someone passing through it, the voltage drops, triggering an alarm.

5. Facial Recognition Software
Seen in Minority Report

Also in the 2002 film Minority Report, security cameras don't just observe people; they actively scan faces to search for wanted criminals. Today, businesses can use software programmed to recognize faces in the event of a break-in, providing police with a clearer profile than a human operator attempting to sift through potentially hundreds of strangers' faces.

Facial recognition software can also be used to alert business owners and homeowners if the face of a known criminal is seen around their premises.

Edited by Braden Becker
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