Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Crime

An eye-tracking VR system lets administrators see what parts of an image sex offenders are...

People who have been charged with sexual offenses typically have to undergo psychotherapy in order to control their deviant impulses. According to researchers at the University of Montreal, virtual reality may provide the best method of determining if that therapy has indeed worked – before those offenders are released back into the public.  Read More

The Yardarm Sensor fits into the grip of a firearm to monitor use in real time

Anytime a police officer draws their weapon, it's likely to be a tense, confusing situation where split second decisions can be the difference between life and death. In an attempt to reduce some of the confusion, Yardarm has developed a wireless sensor that allows firearms to be tracked and monitored in real time thanks to a small electronics package that fits into the weapon's grip.  Read More

Whistl is designed to protect against sexual or other violent crimes

Whistl is an iPhone case that’s designed to add a layer of extra protection to the user’s daily routine. The accessory feeds off the linked smartphone’s battery, and offers three different modes that let the user quickly get in touch with friends and the authorities, as well as emit a bright strobe light and 120 dB alarm.  Read More

MIT's prototype contraband-searching robot

Maritime smugglers will often hide contraband in false hulls or propeller shafts within their boats. While there are ways in which port authorities can search for such stashes, the smugglers often have time to ditch their illicit goods before those searches can be performed. However, what if there were stealthy, inexpensive, underwater hull-hugging robots that could check the boats out, without the crews even knowing they were there? That's just what a team at MIT is developing.  Read More

Safelet is designed to look like a normal bracelet, but it has the capacity to stop a viol...

Sexual violence is sadly still a problem facing (mostly) women in countries around the world. The statistics regarding the number of cases is shocking, but the effect that it has on all women, whether victims or otherwise, is likewise depressing. Safelet aims to make the world a safer place, and foster a feeling of security for people wearing this "alarming" (in both the figurative and literal senses) bracelet.  Read More

The Bodyguard Blanket is designed to protect children in the event of school incursions an...

Security blankets generally only provide youngsters with psychological comfort, but the Bodyguard Blanket is intended to provide some more concrete security. Made from ballistic materials, it is designed to provide protection from bullets in the event of a school shooting, or from falling or flying debris in the event of a tornado.  Read More

Prof. Diane Beauchemin analyzes hair in her lab (Photo: Anne Craig)

If you watch any cop shows, then you know that a person's race and gender can be determined by doing a DNA analysis of one of their hairs. Now, however, Canadian scientists at Queen's University have developed a method of obtaining that same information from hair samples, that's quicker than DNA testing and is 100 percent accurate.  Read More

The Stemlock makes your handlebars temporarily useless

Whether it's bicycles, cars or houses, if thieves really want to get past the lock on something, they can. The trick is to simply not make it worth their while to do so, by adding extra hassles. The Stemlock is just such a hassle. It internally disconnects a bike's handlebar stem from its fork, making it impossible for a thief to steer.  Read More

The Korner tag being applied

Home security systems can certainly bring peace of mind to well-off home-owners, but they're generally not thought of as something that's used by people who are on a budget, such as apartment-dwellers. The designers of Korner hope to change that, however, with a simple system that costs under US$100 and requires no monthly fees.  Read More

It may someday be possible to ascertain someone's appearance by analyzing their DNA

As any fan of just about any TV cop show will tell you, it's possible to determine someone's sex and race based on a sample of their DNA. In the future, however, such samples may provide police with even more valuable information ... they might allow investigators to construct an image of the person's face.  Read More

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