NEC’s Aviation team has published a new eBook that explains how digital IDs are driving transformation in the air travel industry. In doing so, the company argued that while COVID-19 has made hygiene a much higher priority, it is ultimately only accelerating trends that were already in motion long before the pandemic.
That observation speaks to the utility of digital IDs. Before the pandemic, airports were dealing with record volume, and consequently needed a way to process a large number of people more efficiently to cut down wait times and make travel more enjoyable. Digital IDs can help in that regard, since they can be scanned quickly and negate the need for paperwork at security checkpoints. Many airlines have been working to implement digital IDs for years, without any way of knowing that they would be heading into a global health crisis in 2020.
However, the benefits of digital IDs made them even more useful once COVID-19 did emerge. The technology is fully contactless, and gives airlines a way to verify people’s identities while minimizing the amount of face-to-face contact between passengers and staff. As a result, digital IDs can help keep people safe during the pandemic, and will also help the air industry deal with with higher traffic figures once air travel starts to rebound in the next few years.
For its part, NEC is trying to be at the forefront of that movement. The company is currently working with SITA to develop a mobile identity platform that combines NEC’s I:Delight identity management solution with SITA’s Smart Path and Flex infrastructure. NEC’s facial recognition technology is also being used in the Star Alliance Biometrics program that debuted in 2020, although that partnership was originally forged in 2019.
NEC went on to note that digital IDs give people more control over their personal information, since the sharing of digital IDs requires their consent. In the meantime, a branded version of the company’s One ID passenger management platform is now being used in a pair of screening trials at airports in Japan.