Everyone hates the current restriction on taking liquids onto flights. In airports everywhere it causes chaos for passengers and security staff alike. But now a British firm has developed a scanner which uses an X-ray beam to distinguish between harmless liquids such as water, and potential explosives. It displays the results as a colour image, allowing operators to ascertain what a liquid is, rather than just seeing it is there.The new scanner can differenciate the difference between two liquids even when they look the same to the human eye. If someone was trying to carry a liquid which looked very similar to say water, which weighed much the same, but was very different in nature the new machine would recognise it very reliably. Using multi-spectral x-ray detectors, the scanner analyses the contents of plastic bags and bottles, to determine if they contain any dangerous liquids. The computerised system then does the analysis, and provides a simple pass/fail answer without the need to open liquid containers, or run any further tests on the contents. According to developers, this inspection unit could be used not only in airports but also in seaports, prisons and other buildings where security needs to be maintained.