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‘Checkpoint of the future’ takes shape at Texas airport –

June 21, 2012


The airlines say they could eliminate paper from ticketing if passengers provided information as they do for PreCheck, by linking an electronic ticket to a person’s fingerprint or iris scan.

Iris scans, which measure the colored part of the eye, are gaining visibility worldwide. Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam began the Privium program in October 2001. It offers fliers with European passports a border passage of 10 to 15 seconds with iris scans.

In the USA, about 200,000 fliers have enrolled in the CLEAR program for expedited screening in Denver, Orlando and San Francisco since November 2010. Members, who answer TSA questions and provide either a fingerprint or iris scan, pay $179 a year to breeze past ID kiosks with a special card.

Caryn Seidman-Becker, CLEAR’s chief executive, says the program brings “much-needed speed and predictability” to traveling.

SRI International of Menlo Park, Calif., developed two kinds of iris scanners for airports. One is a turnstile called N-Glance and the other is a portal called PassPort, which looks like a metal detector.

“Instead of using a card or a pass, you would simply glance at a spot on the turnstile and it would open the gate if you were qualified to go through,” Mark Clifton, vice president of products and services, says of the prospects for airline passengers. “It’s very fast.”

Screening could also speed up. Peter Kant, executive vice president of Rapiscan, which makes full-body scanners, says several companies are developing machines fashioned like tunnels that allow travelers to walk through.

Rapiscan has a prototype that would let people keep moving, although it can’t scan carry-on bags at the same time yet, Kant says.

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‘Checkpoint of the future’ takes shape at Texas airport –

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