This is no Sci-Fi film—Australia will be replacing their SmartGates with an even smarter technology that allows passengers to go through passport control in seconds. All you have to do is step up to the machine, scan your face, eyes, fingerprints and go.
You may have heard of other countries like Dubai that installed biometric scanners last year, although these require passengers to scan their passports along with their fingerprints and eyes.
The new system, however, doesn’t require any contact with the machine, including “the need to put down a passport”. Brilliant, right?
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) wants to create a “seamless traveler” experience with these new intelligent machines.
The first airport to get these installed (and tested) is Canberra Airport beginning June 2017. All other airports across Australia will receive biometric passport eye-scanners from September 2017 to March 2019.
By 2020, the departments aim to have the machines accept 90 percent of the travelers going in and out of the country. The current SmartGates only accept travelers from 15 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Macau, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America).
Who’s next on the list of countries to adopt a similar system? The United States began testing a facial recognition scanner at Washington Dulles Airport to spot fake passports. However, the process is not “contact-less” as it still requires you to scan your passport and go through passport control with an officer sitting behind a booth.