Notebook Cases Designed To Speed Through Airport Security


Frequent airline travelers may soon find the drudgery of going through security a bit easier to bear. Targus is working on a line of laptop cases that would not only provide protection for a computer, but also allow x-ray machines to scan the bag without taking the equipment out of it.

"We started working on a laptop case that would let you go through security without removing it back in October," said Al Giazzon, vice president of marketing at Targus. "We have regular offsite meetings, and we came up with several different ideas, including a TSA-compliant laptop bag So, we sent a letter to the TSA saying we have ideas how to get people through airport security more efficiently."

This month, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) to bag designers and manufacturers to develop a unique notebook carrying case that will let travelers keep their computers in their bags during screening.

The TSA design provisions include a requirement that the bag materials must not degrade the quality of the X-ray image of the laptop. Concepts can be submitted until mid-April. Vendors that make the initial cut will have until the end of May to submit prototype laptop cases that TSA can run through the screening process to see if the images meet security requirements.

"Our goal is to make heavy travelers' lives easier," said Giazzon. "The key is to keep the laptop separate from everything else. When it's laid flat and goes through the machine it must be visible without obstacles in the way ...One of the keys is that the bag design must make the laptop easy to see, while also providing protection. It's not as easy as wrapping it in piece of nylon. A regular back pack doesn't offer the same protection."

Once the bags are designed, it's expected that the TSA will develop an insignia that would identify the bag as being TSA compliant. The Targus bags -- which will initially include top-loaders, messenger and backpack silouettes -- will be available through the value-added reseller channel.