Passengers travelling to Dubai will soon begin piloting a biometric border system that makes use of blockchain technology and lets them walk straight to baggage reclaim through a short tunnel which conducts a three dimensional scan of their face and instantly checks them into the country using an entirely digital version of their passport.
UK startup ObjectTech is to launch the pilot in partnership with the Dubai Government and the company has been working with Dubai’s immigration department — the GDRFA — to deploy the technology at the country’s main international airport.
“The biometric border system creates an entirely digital passport for each individual,” ObjectTech says. “This will not only contain the data currently stored in chips on existing e-passports, but is able to build on it to include anything from fingerprints to iris scans and facial recognition data.
“The end product — a result of advances in Lidar technology — is a system able to recognise passengers in record times without them even needing to stop walking.
“By using a technology called blockchain, the information stored in the new digital passports can be trusted by governments and means only you and the people you specifically permit can see your data. Not only does this technology mean there will no longer be a need to stop at passport control, but it will dramatically reduce the potential for identity fraud.”
“The Dubai pilot project is due to make its greatest impact by 2020, when 20m people will be going through this one airport per month,” the company adds. “ObjectTech are now looking for further funding to expand the project into new markets, both geographically and into new sectors.”
“This is an identity that is fit for the digital age,” says ObjectTech CEO Paul Ferries. “Not only will it make international travel quicker and safer, but it also gives people back control of their personal digital data, which over the last decade is something that has increasingly become the property of third parties.”