Yoti has teamed up with Heathrow Airport for a groundbreaking trial of biometric passenger processing technology, the company has announced.
The aim is to replace traditional travel documents with digital, biometrically authenticated mobile credentials on passengers’ mobile devices. That will, of course, be facilitated by Yoti’s mobile technology, which is designed to combine document reading with facial recognition to enable identity verification. In other words, an end user can confirm their identity with a selfie and pictures of their identity documents.
At Heathrow, this system will be used to effectively replace travelers’ boarding documents and passports, allowing them to pass through the airport using only their faces as proof of identity.
For its part, Heathrow Airport has already proven to be an early adopter of biometric technology. The airport deployed biometric eGates in the spring of last year, with automated kiosks using facial recognition technology to scan travelers’ faces and match them to their passports. Now, airport administrators are poised to streamline this kind of process even further.
In a statement announcing the partnership, Heathrow Customer Relations and Service Director Jonathan Coen explained, “As our passenger numbers continue to grow, we must look for innovative ways to make it easier and quicker for them to travel through Heathrow with choice, whilst keeping our airport secure,” adding, “Biometrics are key to helping us do that and we are really excited about the biggest roll out of this equipment at any UK airport.”
Neither Yoti nor Heathrow Airport authorities have yet offered an official timeline for the rollout of their biometric passenger processing system, but given the speed with which the broader airport biometrics trend has been ascending over the past couple of years, it’s fair to expect it soon.