JetBlue announced a plan to use the face-scanning technology in lieu of traditional boarding passes. The airline is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in flights between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport.
Here’s how it works.
When you’re in line to board the flight, your face will be scanned and compared to the photo on your passport. The plan is to use this technology for all passengers, not just foreign travelers with a passport and visa, in America in the future.
Humans have always had the innate ability to recognize and distinguish between faces, yet computers only recently have shown the same ability. In the mid-1960s, scientists began work on using the computer to recognize human faces. Since then, facial recognition software has come a long way.
JetBlue isn’t the first to incorporate facial recognition technology. Delta is adding the strategy to the way it is handling bag checking. Travelers who wish to check bags will print tags at Delta kiosks before heading over to machines that match them with their passport photos using identification verification.
And this process isn’t just happening in America. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection announced a while back the intent to the use facial recognition technology along with fingerprint scanners to identify passengers in Australian airports by 2020. Finnair is running a 1,000-person test using a bit of a different method for facial recognition. Airport workers will then check passengers’ documents to determine the accuracy of the system. Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and Dutch airline KLM are among the others in the group testing new technology.
The main sentiment across airlines appears to be the same: the biometric self-service machines are going to save customers time and free airline employees to work on other issues.
Currently, a lot of facial recognition development is focused on smartphone applications. Smartphone facial recognition capacities include image tagging and other social networking integration purposes as well as personalized marketing.
However, there is some concern about how accurate these new procedures will be. Apparently, the facial recognition technology doesn’t recognize all people will the same accuracy. White women and black people aren’t as easily recognized as white men, meaning there could be some mismatching of identities. Some are also concerned that this is crossing the line in terms of passenger privacy.