Police in the UK can now scan fingerprints on-site and gets results in 30 seconds.

Sherlock Holmes would likely be uncharacteristically doling out high praise to Scotland Yard for employing the latest technology for the Olympics.

In preparation for this year's summer Games, the London Metropolitan Police are going to great lengths to avoid anything even remotely resembling last year's riots. Toward that end, 350 mobile fingerprint scanners have been handed out to the police for on-site identification of suspects and wanted criminals. The scanners, which appear to be from 3M Cogent, work with smartphones to allow the bobbies to scan a fingerprint and get a response from HQ in 30 seconds or less.

If Dr. Watson is right, that London is a "great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained," then these scanners could come in handy as the police make their patrols.

Check out this video from the Essex Police division demonstrating how on-site fingerprinting will help keep streets safer:

According to the Guardian, the scanners are just one of a number of cutting edge technologies being used to ensure this year's Olympics are secure. New police scanners and biometric ID cards are being distributed. License plate tracking and facial recognition (improved, I hoped, from the last time they were used) CCTV systems are being installed. Additionally, the police will have more centers and an increased number of checkpoints as well.

If Holmes had a fingerprint scanner back in late 19th century London, he surely would have outed a disguised Moriarty in no time before the villain tried to kill him in The Final Problem...as long as he also had the entire mobile infrastructure to support it. Alas...

[Media: YouTube]

[Sources: The Guardian, Yahoo]

I've been writing for Singularity Hub since 2011 and have been Editor-in-Chief since 2014. My interests cover digital education, publishing, and media, but I'll always be a chemist at heart.