Innovation That Matters

Airport | Photo source Pixabay

Virtual aquarium tunnel speeds up security checks

Travel & Tourism

A new biometric security system at Dubai International Airport will use electronic fish to enhance travel procedures.

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We have seen facial recognition technology put to a variety of uses, from helping tourists choose their favorite activity to smart home control. Now, the Dubai International Airport is introducing facial recognition via a virtual aquarium. From next year, travellers through the airport will no longer wait in line for security checks, instead, they will walk through a tunnel-shaped aquarium, which will be stocked with virtual fish used to catch passengers’ attention. Once focused on the fish, 80 built-in cameras will scan for facial recognition.

The first biometric tunnel will begin operation in late 2018 at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, and by 2020 the remaining terminals will be fitted with the tunnels. Passengers will need to pre-register in order to use the tunnels, and have their faces scanned at 3D scanners set up in kiosks around the airport. Once passengers reach the end of the tunnel, their scanned biometrics are compared with their digital profile. If they match, passengers receive a green light to continue on their trip. If the biometrics do not match, security officials are called to perform additional checks.

In addition to aquarium scenes, the tunnel screens can be programmed to show other scenes, or even advertisements. As the world’s busiest airport, Dubai has long been in the forefront of developing ways to speed passengers through security, and now other airlines and airports are also experimenting with similar systems. Royal Dutch Airlines and British Airways have already experimented with facial recognition to speed up boarding and in March 2019, Australia will begin trials of a contactless passport control system that will let passengers walk through biometric security checks. Will automatic biometric scanning be the future of air travel?




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