As if you ever needed more evidence that Dubai is the one place in the world where you can get a glimpse into how technology will shape all our lives in the future, in late 2017 Dubai announced that its International Airport will use face-scanning virtual aquariums.
Residents of the city-state won’t have to wait too long for the technology to become a part of their travel experience. It’s hoped that by summer 2019, the first face-scanning virtual aquarium will be in full operation.
An Evolution in Biometrics
Long thought to be technology confined to the realms of science fiction, biometrics have evolved leaps and bounds in the last decade – with Dubai at the forefront of this technological revolution. Today, facial recognition is increasingly employed at airports the world over to make sure of swift security and processing.
Currently, Delta Airlines uses biometrics to increase the bagging time, whilst the US is on the cusp of employing a biometric exit system designed to identify Visa holder’s faces as they leave the country. Despite ongoing privacy concerns, with some activists claiming the technology too intrusive, it cannot be argued that biometric facial recognition promotes global safety.
Dubai International Airport’s Face-Scanning Virtual Aquariums
For departing passengers to clear airport security, they will have to walk through a tunnel. The interior of which features a virtual aquarium and outfitted with 80 cameras which can scan faces and irises whilst passengers move through the tunnel.
It’s not just virtual aquariums that can be displayed with the confines of the tunnel. Different landscapes, such as deserts or even advertisements can be programmed to be shown in vivid detail as passengers stroll through the tunnel. Before exiting, passengers are treated to a pleasant message, such as ‘have a nice trip.’ Should the facial recognition software detect a problem, a red sign will flash to alert security.
The aquariums don’t just serve as a measure of promoting a calm and tranquil environment, they hide the facial recognition software and encourage passengers to look around – increasing opportunities for their face to be captured. As with UHD 4K downloadable videos or images of crystalline resolution, the displays give passengers the opportunity to immerse themselves in an entirely different environment, capturing not just our attention but our imagination, making it easier for the cameras to get a good picture of every passenger from multiple angles.
The Future of Airport Security in Dubai
It would be accurate to assume that these face-scanning virtual aquariums present a clear sign that Dubai is investing in airport security for the future. And, this is only the beginning.
Developed in partnership with the Emirates airlines, the first of these virtual walkways will be installed in Terminal 3 and unveiled before the summer is out. Additional tunnels will be unveiled in phases leading us into 2020.
With an estimated 124 million passengers set to pass through Dubai airports by the year 2020, it was clear that a more considered and conscientious security system had to be in-place. It’s hoped that the virtual walkways will be able to manage the vast number of passengers in transit and provide complete safety assurance for those travelling into and from Dubai’s airports.