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The role of biometric recognition technologies in shaping the future of travel

The role of biometric recognition technologies in shaping the future of travel

By Jeff Lennon, Vice President Strategic Sales and Global Partnerships at Vision-Box.

Advances in biometric identification technologies hold the key to delivering seamless experiences where travelers can simply walk through a series of touchpoints without the need to physically interact with human operators. The pandemic provides a pertinent example of why ‘no-touch technologies’ are so important for the future of travel and reinforces the case for retrofitting outdated hardware and implementing cutting-edge software to streamline the flow of travelers across air, land, and sea.

For example, by implementing responsible data sharing between stakeholders in the airport ecosystem, the passenger’s facial recognition token becomes a secured key to access and consume information for personalization at retail outlets, restaurants, concession stands, and other waystations that enhance the passenger experience and help generate non-aeronautical revenue. This is only possible under privacy-first settlements and strict passenger consent processes, unleashing the power of data monetization and actionable intelligence.

For airports, border control agencies, and airlines, digital ID wallets present an opportunity to eliminate paperwork, start and prepare the journey as early as possible off-the-airport, seamlessly integrate all relevant passenger information into a secured and unified digital profile — including identity documents, biometrics, travel authorization, COVID-19 test results, and vaccine certificates.

The aim of biometric technology implementation in the transport sector is to create a truly seamless travel experience in which airports, transport hubs, and border control agencies all contribute to the drive to innovate and simplify the travel journey while increasing efficiencies in risk-based security practices. We are already working with several governments under 5 years’ strategies that include the optimization of the border crossing process. For all of this to merge in a seamless experience for the traveler, the identity management platform that connects all stakeholders must be also able to verify reliable health credentials while being compliant with relevant regulations and national requirements.

ICAO DTC (Digital Traveller Credentials) standards were early adopted in our projects when it comes to identity documents’ digitization. We work with our customers on the implementation of these standards in every solution we design, as well as giving them the robustness of a multi-tenant architecture ready to accommodate future evolutions of DTC’s alike assets.

For a definitive identity binding enabling the presentation of additional health credentials in a trustable manner, we foresee there should be a direct association between passenger locator forms of any country, the passenger’s vaccination information, and any tests that may apply. By associating health credentials with the traveler’s identity, system agility will increase and enable the use of digital travel wallets going through consistent automated checks. This would enable further usage of the existing investments made in automated border control solutions and beyond.

We have observed that airlines, airports, and carriers’ alliances want to guarantee interoperability of data and transactions among their IT platforms – from legacy up to future platforms’ investments. Our positioning is to be the enabler of a post-COVID world where data has an agile journey between stakeholders, enabling our clients with information that effectively helps them during the decision-making process, in a scalable privacy-first framework.

Airlines, such as Emirates and AirAsia, or airports, such as Felipe Ángeles International Airport, in Mexico, Kuala Lumpur International in Malaysia, and Lisbon ANA/Vinci Airports have been ahead of the market in investing in our seamless biometric technologies. They have weathered the COVID-19 pandemic far better than the rest. These airlines and airports are proof that we can digitize and automate time-consuming tasks and enable a frictionless experience for passengers, sustained by well iterated scale-up programs. All these initiatives and their respective business cases benefit from our facial recognition technology, which is specially developed and trained to deliver a truly seamless approach.

Operational reality requires agile systems and engines capable of answering different business cases. This is only achieved through experience in real environments and the subsequent development of a proper implementation methodology. We continuously optimize our facial recognition engine, working with key partners that share our values and vision. Pivotal for us is to ensure that our recognition algorithm is unbiased, and every solution is agnostic to race or ethnicities, so the orchestration of the traveler journey is as inclusive and expandable as possible.

The core enabler for all these innovation strategies to transform into real-life value is our Orchestra Identity Management Platform, a collaborative ecosystem of real-time intelligence able to connect devices to third-party systems, guaranteeing interoperability between all travel stakeholders. With “Privacy by Design” at its core, the travelers retain stewardship of their own data, and how it is shared.

For 2022, we are focused on scaling and consolidating our current projects, so our customers are fully operational for the gradual industry restart. For those who have begun to invest in automation and core identity management solutions, this will be the year to implement them and bring them to scale. Those successes are allowing us to consistently repeat a sustainable delivery to new customers as we’re jointly paving the way to deliver standardized and interoperable solutions across different continents and regions.

With high-velocity implementations, we will help our visionary customers to realize their business cases to their fullest extent and welcome new projects. Our readiness and expertise rely on the sum of all our established uses cases, which can be systematically and consistently replicated leaving minimal but healthy space for naturally customizable features. Our commitment to harnessing the power of process automation and travelers’ flow orchestration leveraging biometrics represents a steadfast mission to improve people’s lives by delivering seamless and frictionless experiences.

DISCLAIMER: Biometric Update’s Industry Insights are submitted content. The views expressed in this post are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Biometric Update.

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