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Florida Tech researchers study different biometric factors for airport reidentification with $80K grant


A team of researchers at the Florida Institute of Technology are working on “multi-location passenger reidentification” for frictionless air travel, supported by an $80,000 grant from Collins Aerospace, the school’s Ad Astra publication reports.

Florida Tech Department of Computer Engineering and Sciences Associate Professor Michael King has led several efforts related to biometrics for the U.S. government since 2002, and is analyzing both mainstream and more advanced forms of biometric technology to conceptualize designs for secure, document-free passenger identification.

“This grant from Collins Aerospace provides our students with a unique opportunity and challenges them to discover new ways of identifying travelers as they enter a facility and later re-establishing their identity at various points as they make their way from the initial checkpoint along the migration path to their gate area,” King explains. “More conventional biometric technologies are likely to be employed to establish an initial identity, but then less intrusive technologies known as soft biometric measures, like the way a person walks or their physical form, may then be used to re-identify them later.”

King sees biometrics reducing the burden on security agents and the risk of error in identification at airports and major transportation hubs.

“While there remain years of research and development before this vision materializes, I believe strongly that the use of biometrics technology will continue to grow as people become increasingly comfortable with it,” King says. “A properly implemented system will provide a high degree of assurance of the person’s true identity while significantly reducing the level of effort required of the passenger. Just being present is enough.”

A recent report from Acuity Market Intelligence forecasts the market for airport biometrics to grow at a 27 percent CAGR through 2022.

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