In recent years, increasingly long and very irritating security lines have been plaguing the regular airline traveler. Showing up for a flight two hours in advance can sometimes be cutting things too closely. Constantly changing the rules on people has done nothing to improve the waiting times or attitudes either. Someone refresh my memory - am I allowed to take a lighter on board, and does it have to be clear and in its own plastic bag?

Clear, one of the companies that operates the pre-screened passenger lanes at 14 airports, has decided they want you to move along a little faster. Recently announced, the “Clear Prize” is a $500,000 prize to anyone that can reduce wait times by 15% or more through any combination of technology, management, or magic.

I’m sure there will be the usual entries from boring defense companies using puffs of air and spectrometers, but why let those guys have all the fun and money? They already get paid enough by making us wait for two hours already. I bet any number of the folks that frequent this site could come up with some kind of serious Rube Goldberg contraption involving lasers, conveyor belts, movie quizzes, and of course some kind of robot. Heck, toss in a machine that goes ping for good measure. I doubt a terrorist would be expecting that!

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