A number of interesting new technologies have emerged in the past 12 months that aim to make airport security both more effective for security services, but also more efficient for passengers.
For instance, facial recognition technology has been trialed in Norway. The technology detects when we enter the airport, and then tracks us through the airport until we’re at the arrivals hall at our destination.
“When a lot of people gather in one place, queues develop quickly,” the researchers say. “Rather than stop every single person at an airport gate, we’ve developed algorithms that recognize people’s faces, based on electronic passports with a photo and ID number.”
Or you have the AI based scanner from Evolv Technology that will allow people to simply walk through particular checkpoints in the airport, and their persons will be scanned automatically. No more emptying of pockets or removing belts.
Robotic Border Guards
Another addition to the burgeoning field comes by way of San Diego State University, where a robotic border guard has been developed. The device, called the Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real Time (AVATAR) is designed to provide accurate lie detection services to border staff.
“AVATAR is a kiosk, much like an airport check-in or grocery store self-checkout kiosk,” the team say. “However, this kiosk has a face on the screen that asks questions of travelers and can detect changes in physiology and behavior during the interview. The system can detect changes in the eyes, voice, gestures and posture to determine potential risk. It can even tell when you’re curling your toes.”
Passengers engage with the kiosk, which will ask them a number of questions, all the time monitoring the passenger in various ways in the hunt for tell-tale signs of lying or discomfort. If they believe an individual warrants further inspection, they raise a red flag and human agents quiz them further.
The system is capable of detecting a wide range of data points from each interviewee, and therefore hopefully provide accurate predictions as to their honesty. The overall plan is for the system to be used in a range of scenarios where honesty matters.
“We’ve come to realize that this can be used not just for border security, but also for law enforcement, job interviews and other human resources applications as well,” they say. “We continue to make improvements, such as analyzing the collected data using Big Data analysis techniques that make AVATAR a potentially valuable tool across many industries.”
Whilst the product has been extensively tested in a lab environment, the next step is to find a partner willing to give AVATAR a go in a real world environment.
“AVATAR has been tested in labs, in airports and at border crossing stations,” the team confidently note. “The system is fully ready for implementation to help stem the flow of contraband, thwart fleeing criminals, and detect potential terrorists and many other applications in the effort to secure international borders.”