Delta Airlines has equipped its boarding gate staff at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with new handheld devices allowing them to do things like reassign seats, check customers in, and so on.
The ‘Nomad’ devices were initially tested in Miami, where they proved to be a big hit among staff, according to a statement announcing the new deployment. Now, Delta says it will “source employee and customer feedback to learn what other capabilities these devices should have” as it expands their use with further deployments.
It isn’t difficult to imagine that at some point the devices could be equipped with biometric scanning features. Delta is currently working with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency on a biometric passenger screening pilot program at the JFK International Airport in New York, which scans travelers’ faces and matches them to their passports. In theory, such technology could be adapted to a handheld device relatively easily, and it’s a fair bet Delta is headed in that direction, given not only the US government’s interest in establishing biometric border screening, but Delta’s own interest in pursuing a future in which biometrics are the only credentials travelers need for boarding, baggage drop-off, and everything else entailed in air travel.