Handcuffs which could deliver electric shocks, drugs and sedatives to people who are under arrest could be the future of law enforcement, after a US company applied for a patent on the device.
Scottsdale Inventions LLC made the application, according to the website Patent Bolt.
The system would outfit handcuffs with sensors including "accelerometers, potentiometer, inclinometer, biometric sensors and cameras" in order to tell the state, health and location of the person wearing them.
They would be able to deliver powerful electric shocks to detainees - after a warning light or noise lets the wearer know they're about to get fried - in order to physically restrain them without intervention by another person.
The system could theoretically detect when a prisoner moved outside of a pre-defined zone, and shock them so they were not able to get away.
Alternatively they could be used in "keep out" mode, shocking a wearer if they crossed a certain boundary to get into a restricted area.
The patent also details how the handcuffs could be used to deliver substances - specifically:
"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."
The substances would be injected via needles or through a gas injection system.
They could be used for "any desired goal", the patent says, including providing needed medication or restraining them chemically.
The patent includes a photograph of what appears to be a prototype of the handcuffs, apparently demonstrating this is not just theoretical.
No law enforcement agency (or anyone else) has indicated they wish to use this system.