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Tech Challenge: Debunking Any Myths on Jack Bauer’s Gadgets

“24: Live Another Day” Tech Challenge 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

By Christine Halsey, BSEET, MSET | Professor - College of Engineering & Information Sciences, DeVry University

After four years, Bauer is back, as well as the renowned Jack Bauer gadgets. While Jack has been off the grid, technology has continued to evolve. From drones to gadgets, hackers to cell phone tracking and more, the new season is up to speed. This year, DeVry University tech experts are taking a weekly tech challenge to debunk any tech myths that present themselves as fan-favorite Jack Bauer once again attempts to save the world in a day.

This week's two-hour season premiere was full of gadgets, all of which are possible, to one degree or another, to implement. In fact, some seemed quite common. Let's start from the beginning:

•  The RC camera car that successfully identified a hidden Jack Bauer was like my Kinetic on wheels. It worked well to get into a small space and navigate around, the two-second screenshot, live monitoring and a street map – well, that’s an app. 

• With CTU no longer in place, the CIA headquarters shows the latest in screens and government connectivity. Seems up to speed and very technical with data pros, hackers and surveillance experts in place.

• Drones have been a hot topic for the last two years from government to retail and in the premiere episode; we come to find out they will reign supreme for the season.

• The fingerprint scanner used by the drone pilot is refined, yet older, technology. You and I may not see them at our next visit to the doctor's office but wireless biometric technology is definitely available and becoming more prevalent. 

• Drone hacking was taken to a new level as the villain designed a device to hack and control 10 drones simultaneously. The scary reality is something like that could be possible but I would hope whoever oversees drone security would leverage variable encryption to prevent hacking.

• Around 11:40, Jack uses a device implanted in his wrist to transmit his location to a base station. Later, that same device sends a missile about 20 feet from his location, blasting a hole in the building and allowing safe escape for Jack and his always-trusted (if not a little haggard) wing-woman Chloe. Seemingly far-fetched and incredibly high-tech, this was the coolest technology we saw in the first two hours and from my perspective, this device is definitely feasible.

There was enough time for cliffhangers and teases throughout the two-hour premiere and while we don't know the twists and turns Jack and Chloe will encounter, I am looking forward to more technology to save them as the day ticks on.


Interested in our take on other episodes? Click below.
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Christine Halsey has BSEET and MSET degrees and currently teaches for the
College of Engineering & Information Sciences at DeVry University, specializing in C++, LabView, digital systems, PLCs, RF communications, microprocessors and other electronics courses. She loves technology and helping people make hardware and software work together.