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FLIR unveils new explosives trace detector built for patrol

The new Fido X2 — which features FLIR’s proprietary TrueTrace technology — is touted as a cost-effective sensing instrument for law enforcement agencies that delivers exceptional performance


Just days before thousands of police executives gather in Chicago for the 122nd Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (IACP 2015), FLIR Systems announced the launch of the Fido X2 explosives trace detector (ETD). The Fido X2 features FLIR’s proprietary TrueTrace technology to quickly and accurately detect a broad range of chemicals used in the manufacture of homemade, commercial, and military explosives.

“FLIR and the Fido explosives detection series of handhelds has a leadership position for explosives trace detection in military application, but up to today we haven’t broken through to any great degree with first responders — police and HAZMAT,” Dennis Barket, Vice President and General Manager for FLIR Detection, told PoliceOne. 

The new Fido X2 — which features FLIR’s proprietary TrueTrace technology — is touted as a cost-effective sensing instrument for law enforcement agencies that delivers exceptional performance. (Image Courtesy of FLIR)
The new Fido X2 — which features FLIR’s proprietary TrueTrace technology — is touted as a cost-effective sensing instrument for law enforcement agencies that delivers exceptional performance. (Image Courtesy of FLIR)

Barket is hopeful that this new device — designed specifically for the law enforcement and first responder community — changes that.

Designed Specifically for Police
“The core technology — the TrueTrace technology that’s alluded to in the press release — actually comes from our high-end military systems,” Barket said. “Because of the feedback we received from police and other first responders, that helped drive us to size, weight, power, and cost. We really designed this Fido X2 from the ground up. It’s lighter than a Mag-Lite flashlight that I think a lot of police officer use. It’s a really nice form factor I think for first responders.”

Weighing less than one and a half pounds and featuring an ergonomic design, the Fido X2 is “ultra-lightweight and durable for maximum portability,” according to the company press release. 

“The Fido X2’s guided user interface allows law enforcement to deploy units broadly across officers with minimal formal training. On-screen prompts and simple go/no-go alarms guide users through operation and aids sampling and decision-making. The Fido X2 also features on-device video training that provides real-time help and reduces the cost and logistical burden of recurrent training,” the announcement said. 

Barket said that the Fido X2 is primarily for patrol, checkpoints, or entry/exit points for high-population places that are potential targets for an explosives attack such as mass transit hubs and sporting venues. In those scenarios, the Fido X2 would screen vehicles and personal belongings for explosives residue that might indicate contact with explosives or incendiary devices.

TrueTrace technology features a “proprietary multiplexed luminescence technique for sensing trace levels of explosive chemicals and is uniquely formulated to detect a broad range of explosives,” according to the company press release. The technology is reportedly able to provide analysis in ten seconds or less.

Not Just for Big Cities
Interestingly, Barket said that the company is not limiting their sales efforts strictly to big cities. 

“It’s for first responders. We think there is a use case out there for tier two and tier three cities as well as the larger tier one cities. We’re hoping to get a really nice response at IACP, and that that carries through the market launch of the product.” 

The Fido X2 will be available globally through FLIR distribution partners in early 2016 with an MSRP starting at $9,995 USD.

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