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New TSA Scanning Tech Will Let You Keep Laptops in Your Bag

The Transportation Security Administration will start installing the new X-ray scanning systems in U.S. airports this summer.
New TSA Scanning Tech Will Let You Keep Laptops in Your Bag
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This story originally appeared on PCMag

New technology coming to U.S. airports will let you keep your laptop inside your carry-on luggage when you go through a security checkpoint.

The Transportation Security Administration will install the new X-ray scanning systems across all U.S. airports in the coming years, starting with a $97 million contract it awarded to a supplier, a TSA spokeswoman told PCMag.

Existing baggage scanners only work in two dimensions. However, the new computed tomography or CT scanners can make out the electronics that sit inside your baggage by rendering the X-rayed images in 3D, which can then be rotated 360 degrees. According to the TSA, the same scanners are also smart enough to detect explosives and other threats that might be hiding inside.

Some passengers may have already encountered the systems in places such as New York's John F. Kennedy airport or Los Angeles' LAX, where the TSA has been testing the state-of-art scanning technology. But now more will get them; that $97 million contract, awarded to Maryland-based Smith Detection, will buy 300 CT scanning systems. They'll begin rolling out this summer, but it's not clear which airports will get them. Replacing all the older scanning tech with newer units could take up to eight years, the TSA said.

As first reported by Bloomberg Government, the devices will eventually allow you to keep your liquids inside your baggage, too. But that'll come further down the line, the TSA spokeswoman said.

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