By David Ponce

You gotta love it when gadgets actually have the potential to save lives. Take this wonderful new product from Japanese firm Oyo. It’s a handheld “radar” that’s used to locate people that are alive, but immobile, trapped under rubble.

The system can pinpoint the location and the depth of persons who are breathing by detecting the electromagnetic waves that reflect back from their moving chests.

To use the system, wireless antennas are placed at the search site to send out signals and capture the signals that reflect back. This information is relayed to the handheld radar reader, which analyzes the data and displays moving objects as black dots and living but immobile persons as red dots. Each antenna can search an area of 1 square meter to a depth of around 4.5 meters. A single radar analyzer can read the signals from as many as 30 antennas.

It will be launched this month, and hopefully emergency rescue teams worldwide will buy into them.