Dubai Trials Passport Free Biometric Technology

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Could the days of using a passport be coming to an end? Another trial in Dubai has started with that goal in mind. With rapid progress and various tests including the US trialing facial recognition technology for immigration when exiting the US, and KLM adopting a facial recognition that controls boarding, this could be the path forward. Ultimately all these trials will mean using a passport could come to an end in the next decade or two.

Burj Al Arab Sunset

How the New Tech Works

The trial in Dubai is a partnership between Dubai Airport and a UK based tech startup ObjectTech. The system works by identifying travelers via a 3D scan as they walk through a short tunnel to reach baggage reclaim. The 3D scan will be combined with facial recognition technology and a digital passport to confirm the travelers’ identity. The technology used in the system is the LIDAR system, the same technology utilized in the Google driverless car system.

The new system can benefit travelers in that it can apparently ensure additional privacy. According to Paul Ferris, the CEO and founder of ObjectTech, “Not only will it make international travel quicker and safer, but it also gives people back control of their digital data.” By using blockchain technology, travelers will be able to not only choose who they allow to see their information but also control what additional information they want to give.

A Big Leap Forward?

Dubai has a stated goal of being one of the world’s leaders in the Internet of Things by 2020, and this is definitely a step in that direction. It brings Dubai Airport in line with other major airports like Australia’s, which are also trialing a biometric immigration process.


It seems as though governments and airlines have realized that they can use technology to speed up the process at airports, from immigration to boarding technology. Currently, JetBlue is trialing facial recognition for boarding, and Delta is using similar tech for lounge access. It is only a matter of time before technology speeds up every process in an airport.

Source: The Daily Express

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    Get used to it folks all travel identification is going in this direction.. Let’s face it in a few years we will have to strike the word Incognito from the dictionary.

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    If I understand well this is just a trial experiment and there are no benefits or disadvantages (apart for the privacy) for the passangers.
    Then it could be than in the future Dubai will use this technology as are already doing some really few airports or airlines.

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    Jacqueline parsons says:

    Hope it rolls out if proved successful to other countries. The current passport system is vastly outdated!

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    hope this works better than the sniffers.

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    I’m not sure that this is trustworthy without knowing exactly what happens with any collected data.

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    And exactly why is any western government going to hand over citizens’ details to Dubai so that they can skip the standard passport check? At best, it might be something that you sign up for, such as when the UK offered a passport control system involving iris scans.

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    When I flew out of Amsterdam last Tuesday, it took approximately one hour to go through passport control, the process has to be shortened..

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    With soo many passport copies circulating on the blackmarket, surely this is a viable solutionto end this bad trade and make our personal security better.

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    I say it’s meh. Not very impressed with new technology marketed as non-failures.

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    bulstrode says:

    To tell the truth, I didn’t understand a lot in this technology (I’m not 18 years old), but it sounds very cool – less time-wasting in airport, hope it’ll spread