Dubai International Airport is swapping its traditional security desks for a 'virtual aquarium' fitted with facial recognition cameras.
As passengers pass through the tunnel and look at the virtual fish, their faces and irises will be scanned by 80 surrounding cameras. When they reach the end, they will either be cleared by a sign that reads 'Have a nice trip', or stopped by a red sign that says 'Wait' – in which case security will be alerted.
According to Major Gen Obaid Al Hameeri, deputy director general of Dubai residency and foreign affairs, this new check-in system will not only add an element of entertainment for passengers, but will also increase the quality of the image taken by capturing the whole face from different angles.
Created in partnership with Dubai-based airline Emirates, the first of the new virtual walkways will open in Terminal 3 by the end of summer 2018. It will be rolled out across the rest of the airport by 2020 to process the 124 million passengers expected to pass through that year.
This is an inventive example of how airports are investing in cutting-edge tech and furnishing terminals with references to nature, as recently discussed in New-Wave Airports.
See also Agile Airlines Reshape Travel for a comprehensive update on innovation across the airline space, as well as The Empowered Customer Journey for more seamless and personalised travel experiences.