High-Flying Cop

In an effort to fight crime more effectively, the South Bay Police Agencies -- a coalition of six Southern California police forces -- is using the Robinson R44 police helicopter.

The R44 is equipped with the Wescom 12DS gyro-stabilized infrared sensor and a television camera system as well as a public address/siren system, search light and video recorder.

For additional information, contact Robinson Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505. Call 310/539-0508.

Seal & Sons Photography

To study the diving and foraging behavior of seals, researchers at Texas A&M University, in Galveston, are using self-contained infrared cameras mounted on the heads of Weddell seals.

Weddell seals might be a little slow or noisy on land, but they are adept camera operators under the icy waters in Antarctica.

First, a hole is drilled through the icy surface, and a seal is captured as soon as it surfaces for the air. After the camera is safely mounted on the seal's head, it is released and the recording begins. The camera is recovered as soon as the seal surfaces for air.

For additional information, contact Texas A&M University, 5007 Avenue U, Galveston, TX 77553. Call Dr. Randall Davis at 409/740-4712.

Telesurveillance at the Border

Remote telesurveillance, by Alpha Systems Lab (ASL), is making round-the-clock, U.S./Canada border crossings possible at many small and remote ports of entry (POE). The system was developed to help port inspectors process the rising number of travelers crossing the border.

According to ASL, the system allows the video inspection of any portion of a vehicle by zooming in, for example, on a driver and his license, any passengers, the inside of the car and the trunk when opened by the driver. Audio and video are recorded on a VCR.

At the select sites, local residents can apply for a border-crossing permit for use at any time, whether inspectors are on duty or not. The applicant's voice signature is recorded, and a personal identification number and photo ID are assigned.

For additional information, contact Alpha Systems Lab, 17712 Mitchell St., Irvine, CA 92614. Call 714/622-0688.

Invisible Marking

The Secure Marking Kit, by Innovative Security Products, lets users mark and identify their valuable equipment and assets, such as computers and other office equipment. The system is designed to discourage theft and provide a way of easily recovering stolen property.

The kit contains an ultraviolet (UV) pen, which is used to apply invisible marks to objects, and a UV lamp, which illuminates the invisible marks.

The UV pen can mark on nearly any surface -- wood, plastic, metal, glass, cloth, paper -- and will not deface or damage equipment. The light is powered with four AA batteries.

The Secure Marking Kit costs $34.94.For additional information, contact Innovative Security Products, P.O. Box 8682, Prairie Village, KS 66208. Call 913/385-2002.

Virtual Weightlessness

Alien Furniture Technology has developed an ergonomic chair and computer workstation that enables and encourages users to sit, stand and recline while working.

According to the company, stress, muscle tension, and neck and back pain seemingly disappear while the user and workstation float as one -- all at a cost of $5,295.

For additional information, contact Back Be Nimble, 2405 Rice Blvd., Houston, TX 77005. Call 888/626-3026.

Secure School Badge

To help increase the security on school campuses, Temtec has developed TEMPbadge, a self-expiring school visitor badge that changes color as the day progresses, so visitors cannot reuse the badge another day.

The badge is also well-suited for various applications in government and private industry.

For additional information, contact Temtec, 100 Route 59, Suffern, NY 10901-4910. Call 914/368-4040.