Shoe detector launched in India, but few takers


New Delhi : Learning no lessons from the past terror attacks, where terrorists executed their plans after passing through security checks by concealing arms in shoes, Indian authorities are not showing immediate interest to put into service shoe detector, which was launched Wednesday in the capital.

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V. Purushotham Rao, the managing director of VIPRA TechnolEdge Pvt. Ltd., who launched his product Mag Shoe in the capital, said: “Present doorframe metal detectors (DFMD) in India are not designed to scan shoes and people can easily walk through, concealing metals in their shoes.”

“The Mag Shoe provides an option to the security agencies to screen people up to their ankles and the machine also tells that in which portion of the shoe metal is being hidden,” Rao told reporters.

He said despite the best metal detectors, terrorists in the past had managed to sneak in to the flights with knives hidden in their shoes. This finally resulted in the 9/11 tragedy in the US.

After the 9/11 attack, countries like Australia, Austria, the US, Germany, Hungry, Czech Republic have implemented the shoe scanners at the strategic points in their country.

Rao said the product was developed at the request of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to overcome the lacunae in the existing metal detection technology.

Asked how the new device works, the retired IPS official said: “First a person is passed through the normal DFMDS than he is asked to stand on the 35 kg shoe detector machine, which scans metal up to ankles of the person in 1.6 seconds.”

“Mag-Shoe is not a replacement to the doorframe metal detector (DFMD). It is a complement to the DFMD and completes the detection of any metal that has to be checked for access into any premises,” he added.

Vivek Pawha, vice-president marketing and business development, said: “The DFMD has sensors on both sides of the frame, which detect metals when the magnetic field between them is interrupted, but the Mag Shoe has six sensors which independently scan the left, right, mid and bottom sides of each shoe.”

“The machine also evaluates metal content in each shoe. It indicates the position and the quantity of metal present in the shoes and also compares both the shoes to give a differential of metal content between the left and right shoe,” Pawha said.

Rao said the company exhibited this Rs.323,000 device to several security agencies in the past few months, but only few have shown any interest inm buying it.