The new iPhone X is all the rage these days, and it hasn’t even made its way into stores. With so many new and interesting features—one of the most advanced being facial recognition—it will be interesting to see how apps will evolve and integrate certain ones into their own systems.
But the part we’re most excited about is how the new iPhone X will impact travel. According to Jim Peters, the CTO of SITA (a multinational information technology company providing IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry), Apple’s new 3D technology is about to take travel to the next level.
“A lot of the stuff we use today is 2D because that is what is in your passport,” says Peters. For example, when your passport is scanned, it looks up your picture, and the border control personnel will compare whether your image matches the picture on your passport or not. The 3D technology in the new iPhone X also uses biometrics in order to identify if you are really you, by inspecting your face (in order for it to work, you have to move a bit, and your eyes need to be open).
The use of this new technology as a replacement for your passport may be in the works in the near future. We are already using our smartphones to enter into the U.S., so why not implement 3D face recognition for added security?
Before a company like De La Rue, who produces most of the passports in the world, can execute such a technology, it’s important that people get comfortable with it first. Once that happens, businesses can begin to implement the iPhone biometric technology in airports and beyond. How amazing would it be to just walk into an airport, have your face scanned, drop off your bags (if you have any to check-in), walk through security, and board your flight without having to wait to check in at the counter, present your ID and ticket to TSA, and then have your ticket scanned at the gate as you board onto the plane.
According to a fairly recent study conducted by Accenture LLP, people were more willing to use biometric technology if it made travel easier and faster. Some airports, such as the airport in Saint Martin already has biometric control e-gates installed (Australia’s International Airports are rolling theirs out soon), making it very convenient to get in and out of the country—goodbye to long lines and grumpy border control officers.
One of the biggest things to remember is that governments are wary of tapping into someone else’s phone to gather information to pass through the country’s border, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the future may hold in terms of using your phone’s biometric technology with the government’s.
Aside from using the iPhone X as your passport, it can also be integrated into other areas of travel. For instance, having the ability to purchase a ticket on the spot with just two steps. Step one, open an app and identify your travel itinerary (dates of travel, departure and destination city). Step two, scan your face for easy payment. Voilà! Your ticket will be digitally displayed on your phone and ready to be presented at the gate.
The future for travel is looking bright, and we can’t wait to see how this biometric technology will be used as more and more people begin to adapt it.