New airport biometrics partnerships, tips, update and forecasts unveiled

airport facial recognition masks

Stakeholders are hoping that investments in contactless airport systems can revive the industry’s fortunes, and plans are being carried out around the world. In India, the government has announced a timeline for its current rollout of face biometrics in airports. The Idiap Research Institute and face biometrics startup Facedapter are working on a system that could allow biometric comparisons based on images collected from different types of cameras, with significant potential impact on airport systems. Meanwhile, SITA and K2 Security Screening offer aviation industry biometrics tips and predictions, respectively, and Amadeus has announced an IT infrastructure partnership.

Idiap partnership with startup Facedapter could eliminate airport biometric pre-registration

A partnership has been formed by the Idiap Research Institute and Facedapter to develop a novel face biometric technology which can perform matches across heterogenous mediums, such as color, near-infrared (NIR) and 3D images.

The partnership has “huge” potential for law enforcement and identity and access management (IAM) applications to reuse existing face biometrics databases, Idiap states.

Facedapter has also received an innovation grant of CHF 302,000 (US$320,500) from Innosuise, and announced the beta launch of two products.

The company is an early-stage startup based in Switzerland which claims the ability to match 3D and NIR images with ID document images and legacy databases. The technology does not store any data, Facedapter Founder Praveen Gajjala tells News Break in an interview. The technology identifies the format of the camera being used to onboard a customer, to match the comparison image against a reference image, regardless of whether it was captured with the same kind of camera.

Gajjala suggests that it could be used for similar applications to Dubai’s recently-announced biometric passport control checks, but without the pre-registration requirement. The interview also touches on the biometric spoofing threat of face-morphing, and the challenges to face biometrics associated with matching look-alikes, identical twins, and women of color. These challenges can be addressed through a combination of 2D, 3D, thermal and short and long-wave infrared (SWIR and LWIR) cameras and Facedapter’s technology, according to Gajjala.

The company is focussed on high-security applications, rather than identifying people wearing masks, he says.

Facedapter plans to close a $1.5 million pre-seed and seed funding round within the next couple of months.

India plans completion of Digi Yatra biometrics phase one by end-2021

Indian Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri told the Lok Sabha that the first phase of the government’s Digi Yatra face biometrics program will be completed at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune, Vijayawada, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports by the end of this year, the Bangalore Mirror reports.

The Minister also said the curb-to-gate biometric system is subject to review because of the dynamic nature of its security purposes.

5 airport biometrics tips from SITA

As airport technology investments continue to remove touchpoints from traveller journeys, SITA has published its top five tips for getting the most out of airport biometrics in a blog post.

SITA recommends prioritizing match speed and accuracy, improving passenger experiences by limiting document scanning to an initial step in the airport journey, and making biometric solutions easy for staff to operate. Airports with multiple airline tenants should invest in easy-to-integrate common-use infrastructure to enable scale and cost-efficiency, and making use of existing infrastructure to minimize hardware requirements.

3 impacts of COVID on TSA checkpoints

The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed the lives of 15 TSA staff, and may continue to impact airport biometrics for years to come, K2 Security Screening Group Executive Vice President Steve Karoly and AGX Marketing CEO Andrew Goldsmith write for Homeland Security Today.

Karoly and Goldsmith suggest that it will take two years for facial recognition to become widely deployed at TSA checkpoints, but just a few years later, Real ID and Cat-2 functionality could come together to eliminate ID document checks. They also see smartphones securely capturing biometric data and carrying tokens for curb-to-gate seamless passenger experiences, but not for 10 years.

Amadeus moves to Microsoft public cloud

After years of championing private cloud and running one of the largest private cloud deployments in Europe, Amadeus is moving its infrastructure to Microsoft Azure, Computer Weekly reports.

The migration is expected to take three to five years, but will allow the companies to develop and offer joint services.

The article delves into the details of why Amadeus has chosen to reverse its infrastructure course at this time.

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