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Meet the Company That Wants You to Bring Shampoo on the Plane

For the hygienically minded who miss brushing their teeth during flights

A small company in the English countryside helping to end the carry-on liquid ban at airports has been recognized for its efforts with a prestigious engineering award.

Cobalt Light Systems makes a laser-based technology that identifies the chemical composition of a substance sealed within containers or other barriers, like skin, even when the container is opaque and the liquid cannot be directly viewed. The company’s technology is being used in 60 airports across Europe to scan passengers’ luggage.

It’s basically a godsend for people sick of throwing out their toothpaste at airport security checks — the idea is to eventually phase out the blanket ban on carrying liquids in handbags, which was instituted in 2006 after a failed terrorist bomb plot.

This week, Cobalt Light Systems won the 2014 MacRobert Award, one of the most prestigious engineering prizes in the U.K.

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