Edinburgh Airport installs biometric system to track passenger movements (Computerworld UK)
An anonymous facial image is taken of each passenger as they check in and the time it takes each to reach certain waypoints plotted over time. If this time breaches a pre-set parameter for enough passengers, alerts can be generated.
The principle is that moving passengers from check in to the terminal increases their satisfaction with that airport and boosts the amount of time they have to spend money in the retail outlets that generate profit for airports.
The system can also be used to track the movement of passengers through the airport as a whole.
This is another really interesting application for facial recognition technology and, unlike other uses of face technology better described as demographic detection, this one actually is a true face recognition application.
Although it is a true face recognition application, it isn’t really an ID application so long as the facial image taken at the time of passenger is not linked to other personal information and it is deleted after the person reaches the “finish line.”
The item of interest to airports in this case is the length of time it takes real individuals to travel through various points between check in and the jetway. It’s a more sophisticated measure than a simple count and real-world measurement wasn’t easily automated before face recognition technology.
Airports in the UK have been early adopters of face recognition for this application because they are held to certain performance metrics (and subject to fines) for airport throughput. Having accurate real-time information on passenger flows can inform on-the-fly staffing decisions. For example, additional security screeners can be dispatched in the event a slow-down is detected, saving passenger time and the airport money.
Though airports have been early adopters, this basic application has obvious utility in shopping malls, department stores, planning for emergency evacuations, and large facility scheduling.
SecurLinx has experience in the design and deployment of this type of system. Our FaceTrac system is readily adapted to the challenge of on-the-fly enrollment, finish-line matching, reporting, and automatically purging image data.