Civil Liberties

Handcuffs 2.0

Will the restraints of the future have built-in shocks and sedation?


Ever wondered why handcuff technology hasn't progressed much in the last 50 years? Wonder no more: In late November, the website Patent Bolt noticed an application filed by a company called Scottsdale Inventions for an "Apparatus and System For Augmented Detainee Restraint."

This handy new device can be "configured to administer electrical shocks when certain predetermined conditions occur" as well as being activated by remote control. The patent application compares this function to the workings of a stun gun or Taser. 

What's more, the cuffs could potentially be configured to administer "a liquid, a gas, a dye, an irritant, a medication, a sedative, a transdermal medication or transdermal enhancers such as dimethyl sulfoxide, a chemical restraint, a paralytic, a medication prescribed to the detainee, and combinations thereof" without directly involving human law enforcement officials.

The cuffs could also be programmed to work like an electric dog collar, shocking a detainee if he ventures outside a pre-determined zone. But don't worry. Before the cuffs do their thing a little warning light will flash and the cuffs will beep.

The application includes a photo of a prototype, which suggests these cuffs are well past concept stage and could soon be available to a cop near you.