"Though this technology is years from deployment, the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate is always looking for new and innovative ways to improve security, while also protecting the privacy of citizens and limiting delays in the screening process," department spokesman Chris Ortman told ABC News.
A new version, only a month old, has solved the cooling issue and can operate at room temperature. It is the size of a small, portable refrigerator.
However, the Department of Homeland Security still considers 15 seconds too long for practical purposes and Los Alamos scientists are trying to fix that problem. The department estimates that any practical application may be at least three years away.
Government officials aren't willing even to guess how much the machines might cost, let alone who would mass produce them.