Pepper Spray–Equipped ATMs

South Africa takes its security seriously. Here’s an ATM that automatically squirts pepper spray into the face of “people tampering with the card slots.”

Sounds cool, but these kinds of things are all about false positives:

But the mechanism backfired in one incident last week when pepper spray was inadvertently inhaled by three technicians who required treatment from paramedics.

Patrick Wadula, spokesman for the Absa bank, which is piloting the scheme, told the Mail & Guardian Online: “During a routine maintenance check at an Absa ATM in Fish Hoek, the pepper spray device was accidentally activated.

“At the time there were no customers using the ATM. However, the spray spread into the shopping centre where the ATMs are situated.”

Posted on July 17, 2009 at 1:04 PM

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