Do Airport Scanners Kill Kindles?

No, not scanners of the infamous head exploding type. Think more X-Ray scanners, and the many tales you’ve heard about them wiping film and damaging electronics. Could they be killing Kindles as well?

It sounds a little farfetched, and I’ve got to say from the outset that my own Kindle’s made it through numerous airport scanners with no obvious signs of, say, devastating explosions or anything of the sort. That would tend to stand out, especially in an airport.

The UK Telegraph reports on the problem of multiple Kindles not surviving the trip through the little scanning machine. It doesn’t appear a problem of the classic the-X-rays-are-gonna-kill-my-gear type. At least not obviously; the report quotes Professor Daping Chu, Chairman of the University of Cambridge centre for Advanced Photonics, stating that

I don’t think the radiation used in an airport scanner would ever be strong enough to damage an electronic ink display. But you can get a build up of static inside these machines, caused by the rubber belt rubbing. If that charge were to pass through a Kindle, it’s conceivable that it could damage the screen.”

The good news is that it appears that, unofficially at least, Amazon may be replacing Kindles damaged by airport scanners. The bad news? If Professor Chu is correct and it’s a buildup of static, then anything electronic that passes through a scanner could be affected by the same kind of zapping. [Telegraph via Geekosystem]

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