The TSA has just approved a new scanner by GE Security, which allows airline passengers to step into/onto a kiosk that not only scans their shoes (no shoe removal necessary!), but it also has an explosives trace detector built in.
This means it performs the equivalent of the “air puff” test, but it actually tests the passenger’s fingers for traces of explosives.
Unfortunately, it will only be used for those folks that have signed up for the poorly-implemented Registered Traveler Program, which charges passengers $100/year…and has thus far only been implemented in Orlando.
But, last time I was at Newark, TSA folks were simply waving us through the air-puff machine, even though it was showing the red, “stop” hand sign, just proving there’ll always be a human element thrown into these tests.