From overcrowded flights to “fees” for luggage – and anything else airlines can get away with – air travel today is a major hassle. But for many people, the worst part is the security check – and especially the mandatory removal of shoes. For that we can thank shoe-bomber Richard Reid, whose aborted attempt to smuggle a bomb onto a plane in his shoes prompted a further revision of security systems. Since 2002, removal of passengers' shoes and checking them through a scanner for dangerous materials has been standard at all airports in the U.S., and in many airports around the world.
Most passengers understand that need for “shoe inspection” - but still, most consider it a major hassle. Passengers have come up with all sorts of creative methods of coping, like wearing slip-ons and sandals to check-in, and switching to “real” shoes when they're in the terminal. But those methods don't work in the winter, when boots are de rigueur - and if you're traveling with kids, you know how frustrating it is to do “shoe duty” at check-in.
But never fear; Israel's IDO Security, based in Rishon Lezion, makes an easy to use – and easy to stomach - step-in device that extends security screening and metal detection to include the ankles and feet, without requiring shoe removal. Passengers - or, for that matter, visitors to buildings (such as courts and government buildings) where shoe inspection is required – simply step into the MagShoe device, stand still for a couple of seconds, and move on. The system uses sophisticated algorithms and inspection methods to do its magic, and a red light/green light indicator offers visual confirmation of the scan’s results. If there is a problem the light flashes red, and MagShoe sounds its built-in alarm, displaying the results on its control console. The multi-sensory alert system ensures immediate response times, even in loud and crowded screening areas such as busy airports or noisy stadiums.
But for the non-terrorists trying to get through airport security (whom we hope are the vast majority of passengers!), MagShoe makes shoe inspection a breeze – both for passengers and security personnel, says Dan Werber, Vice-president of Sales and Marketing for IDO. Werber, who represented the company at the ISDEF Security Expo, being held in Tel Aviv this week, said that security officials are just as interested as passengers in smoothing out procedures. “The calmer the atmosphere, the easier it is for them to do the work they are really needed for. Shoe inspection is a major distraction and slows things up considerably for everyone, making it harder to keep track of real suspects. MagShoe has proven to be a great boon in airports and other sites all over the world,” Werber says.
Indeed, the company has clients throughout Europe, Asia, and event Africa. And, of course, at Ben Gurion Airport, where shoe inspection is generally not required – but the option exists just in case, thanks to MagSafe. The system is patented – and offers a far better way to do shoe inspection, says Werber. “Customers who have installed the system already have expressed a high level of satisfaction,” he says – but the real satisfaction is, no doubt, that of the passengers, who are now exempt from one of the hardest chores associated with flying!