The Telegraph
Monday, December 18, 2017

Airport sea change

- Virtual fish to verify identity in Dubai
First published on 13-Oct-2017

Oct. 12: Dubai International Airport is doing away with security counters next year and introducing virtual fish to verify your identity instead. Yes, you read that right.

Instead of waiting in line for security kiosks or e-gates, passengers will be able to walk through a virtual aquarium tunnel in which 80 in-built cameras will scan their faces.

The role of the fish? To capture the passengers' attention - and thus their biometrics.

Dubai is the world's busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic, with more than 80 million travellers passing through it last year.

Foreign affairs chief Maj. Gen Obaid Al Hameeri told The National: "The fish is a sort of entertainment and something new for the traveller but, at the end of the day, it attracts the vision of the travellers to different corners in the tunnel for the cameras to capture his/her face print."

The first "biometric borders" will appear by late 2018 at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3, with other terminals being fitted with them by 2020.

You'll have to be pre-registered to pass through the tunnel, with 3D face-scanning kiosks set up at locations around the airport to do so.

When passengers reach the end of the tunnel, their biometrics will be matched to their digital profile and they will either receive a green message reading "have a nice trip" or a red alert if a security officer is required to perform further checks.

The screens can be changed from "aquarium mode" to show other themed scenes, or even adverts.

It's the airport's latest measure aimed at speeding up the security process to cope with an ever-increasing influx of travellers.

Maj. Gen. Al Hameeri says that it has already managed to cut down time spent at the security counters to a mere five seconds, but that's not enough.

Dubai is not the only major travel hub to be experimenting with this sort of technology.

Australia also has plans to test a similar "contactless" passport control system that checks arrivals against electronic versions of passports and biometric cues. It would let passengers "literally just walk out like at a domestic airport" and will start working in March 2019, according to reports.

The Daily Telegraph

 More stories in India

  • Supreme Court to give Rohingya issue a holistic hearing, no emotional pleas
  • SC refuses to relax firecracker sale ban in Delhi-NCR, rejects traders' plea
  • Constitution bench to decide entry of women in Sabarimala temple
  • Alarm as India skids on global hunger list
  • Punishment meted out by JNU set aside
  • Gujarat BJP pins hope on Modi, Shah
  • Varun for women's bill
  • Sangh tribute to Gauri
  • Shield for IIT, IIM higher pay
  • Kejriwal's car stolen from secretariat
  • Appeal to PM for 'bold' Rohingya line
  • SC panel to pick 'senior advocates'
  • Can quash any law: SC
  • Envoy to Pakistan to move to China
  • Delhi seals lips on Nepal
  • Cobra scare at JNU
  • Ram statue, eye on 2019
  • Talwar relatives 'grateful'
  • Friday hearing against Delhi cracker sale ban
  • Grenade targets salon in Kashmir
  • Slip tally in one booth each