Crimes that involve chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials pose a deadly threat not just to the target of the attack but to innocent bystanders and police investigators. Often, these crimes may involve unusual circumstances or they are terrorist-related incidents, such as an assassination attempt or the sending of poisons through the mail.
Police and law enforcement staff are turning to hackathons – collaborative events for developing technology – to come up with new ways of searching for clues within the terabytes of data that many people produce every year.
Criminals who want to smuggle dangerous or illegal substances into Europe could soon find themselves foiled by a new set of high-tech anti-smuggling tools including an electronic sniffer dog and a machine that fires part of an atom at shipping containers.
The damage that tsunamis could cause is expected to rise due to climate change, say researchers who are developing a tsunami early warning system for Europe and investigating the best way to reduce their impact on people and buildings.
Humans have always looked for deeper meaning in imagery; from Disney films, to religious iconography, and the Mona Lisa’s crooked smile. But there is, in fact, a pattern hidden in every digital photograph and video frame — image fingerprints that are being put to novel uses in social media, mobile authentication and criminal forensics.
After a natural disaster strikes, emergency workers can often struggle to cope with destroyed buildings obstructing routes to injured people, fires engulfing entire forests at a bewildering rate, and storms blinding search and rescue operations.
Identifying behavioural issues early on can help improve outcomes in later life.
Wireless tags and indicators that mimic decomposition could replace expiry dates.
Deploying this technology rests on successfully making a business case to companies, says Kristin Jordal.