Emphasis and the Internet of Things

Emphasis and the Internet of Things

Internet may hold the key to the terrorist organizations that are paralyzing the world and scaremongering their way into our lives. How? Simply by using the technology that we have at hand. The problem with terrorism is that it creates terror and the consequences are not only loss of life but also financial losses. So, how to get to them before they actually strike?

The internet of things has the solution.

The Swedish Defense Research Agency is leading a EU-funded project called ‘Emphasis’ with a very simple idea behind it. Our sewers hold the key to what people are doing in their houses around the cities. Discarded bomb-making materials get flushed down the drains of our homes and enter the sewers.

Home-made bombs are made from materials that can be easily bought on the internet or even in supermarkets. After making those bombs, bomb-makers wash their hands and residues enters the sewer network under our cities.

The coordinator of Emphasis, Hans Oennerud says, “We have a bunch of electrodes, and immerse them in the sewage.” The high-tech sensors will be able to locate where the chemicals, that are entering the waste, are coming from exactly. This will enable the police and authorities to narrow-down there searches and locate potential terrorists quicker. The objective is to allow sensors to detect even the smallest traces of chemicals in the systems beneath our feet.


‘Emphasis’ comes as a vast European project that is also in conjunction with two others: Bonas (Bomb factory detection by Networks of Advanced Sensors) and Lotus (Location of Threat Substances in Urban Society). Bonas is intended to locate airborne and waterborne chemical particles around or in the vicinity of bomb-making factories. For the Lotus project, the detectors would be mobile, placed in police cars and law-enforcement vehicles. They would analyze the presence in the air of particles that would be a possible threat to citizens. The data would be collected and automatically transmitted to the authorities for analysis.

These projects are currently being tested and should become operational within a short time. The interest in these projects is that, not only will they facilitate to locate bomb-making facilities but also any possible chemical threats or use of chemical weapons.

The Swedish Defense Research Agency or FOI has recreated a bomb-making facility for real-life testing purposes where explosive devices are being produced. The Research Director, Henric Oestmark says, “If you have a normal lab, you have very clean air, for example. You need to simulate what is happening in real life if you are going to find a bomb factory.” The progress that is being made and the use of the Internet of things are beyond what we might have imagined just a few years ago.

Any development of the internet of things that can help to put an end to the loss of human life can only be welcomed with open arms. These developments for the Internet of things could provide authorities with vital intelligence information.

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