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Biometric technology poised to improve automated bag drops


The recent advancements in biometric technologies are poised to significantly improve automated bag drops at airports, according to a report by The Australian.

ICM has faced some challenges in developing bag drops for international operations as it is required to confirm that a traveller has a valid passport and, in some cases, a visa, said Richard Dinkelmann, managing director of ICM Airport Technics.

In the past, the bag drop technology firm would typically conduct these processes manually.

However, airports are gradually beginning to install automated border clearance machines that authorize a passport’s validity while the facial recognition component verifies the passenger’s identity, which in turn automates the bag drop process, said Dinkelmann.

“It’s already rolled out with immigration in Australia when you come into the country and the government recently announced an investment I think of $100 million in outgoing e-passport biometrics checks,” said Dinkelmann. “Once those technologies are bedded in it will become more commonplace to see these self-service machines going into international travel.”

Out of all the biometric modalities available, facial recognition is the one mostly likely to be used for bag drops, said Dinkelmann.

A recent testing of the Australian domestic experience showed that using an automated bag drop takes approximately 35 seconds to process one bag, with a second bag taking even less time.

ICM has also developed a system that takes a 3-D image of a bag to detect bags that could potentially cause a jam. The image could also be used to identify lost bags in the future.

The company recently installed 20 auto bag drop units at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with another 15 units to be rolled out later this year.

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