Feature Story

Facial recognition makes way into airports and other industries

by Stephanie Chan

Facial recognition makes way into airports and other industries

How is face scanning helping flyers get on board more quickly?

The once-mythic technology of sci-fi novels and movies is now making its way into airports. Facial recognition could soon become the norm and help airline passengers quickly pass through to their boarding gates. Bloomberg reports that facial recognition implemented into British Airways gates at London's Heathrow Airport can capture passenger features, their boarding pass, and a facial scan.

This biometric device is making its way into airports across the globe. The Guardian writes that the Australian government is eager to automate 90% of air traveller processing by 2020. Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection is looking to create a "contactless" system—possibly getting rid of passports altogether and relying on facial, eye, or fingerprint recognition.

The Next Web reports that Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport is also in line to adopt facial recognition through a company named Vision Box. This device helps match a passenger's face with the face on their passport. The United States' Customs and Border Protection also launched facial recognition at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.

Biometric devices help improve security and congestion in airports, but they also aid in many other industries. Retail looks beyond facial recognition—and zeros in on shoe recognition—to gather data on the types of patrons visiting a store.

Hoxton Analytics, in partnership with Cisco's Innovation Center IDEALondon, implements Cisco cameras pointed at the floor to scan customer footsteps and shoes. With Hoxton's analytics and software, the company is able to gather information, even profiling customers' age and gender to 75% accuracy.

With all of these biometric devices entering industry across industry, you should be prepared to have your face scanned at the next store, transport hub, or airport.