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Faster Airport Queues With Facial Recognition

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Raghavendra Ramachandra.

Postdoctoral fellow Raghavendra Ramachandra and his colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have developed algorithms to identify faces.

Credit: Anders Gimmestad Gule/NTNU

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have developed facial-recognition technology that could automate security checks at airports.

The algorithms recognize people's faces based on electronic passports with a photo and ID number, says Raghavendra Ramachandra, a postdoctoral fellow in NTNU's Biometrics Laboratory. As a result, every single person would not need to stop at the airport gate.

Ramachandra notes NTNU's solution does not involve storing information on individuals' movements in databases. "Privacy is our top priority," he says. "If someone were to hack the databases, they wouldn't be able to reconstruct the data. There's always the possibility of being hacked when you save information digitally, but in using biometrics we try to mitigate this risk by avoiding centralized storage."

Ramachandra also says users will not find facial recognition distracting. The method of identifying people does not require contact and people will not notice anything.

The technology company Safran Morpo soon will test the facial-recognition software at several airports around the globe.

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