Electronic Nose Nabs Graffiti Artists

Art is in the eye of the beholder. To me, well-done graffiti is magnificent. But I realize that tagging trains and other non-traditional canvases is illegal and can costs millions of dollars in clean-up. A new chemical-sniffing technology being used in Australia is proving effective in catching punk Picassos in the act.

Called Mousetrap, the device — developed by the Australian company Technique Risk — can detect fumes released by markers and spray paints. It quickly compares them with known types of paints and triggers an alarm connected to the nearest surveillance camera.

The technology got me to thinking how this could benefit industry. Could the nose be trained to smell when reactions go awry and potentially dangerous? What uses do you see for this technology? Give me your thoughts in the comment box. . . I’ll toss all the responses in a hat and send one of you a $50 American Express gift card. In the meantime, check out the news story that introduced me to this technology.


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Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing’s Senior Digital Editor and admirer of good graffiti. You can email her at tpurdum@putman.net.