Firm developing border avatars with biometrics
16 February 2017 13:54 GMT

A company from Luxembourg is developing an animated border guard system that would see avatars question passengers at home on their mobile, PCs or tablets, using facial recognition for security.

As reported in a magazine the EU’s Horizon magazine, Anastasia Garbi from European Dynamics in Luxembourg is working on a system that uses facial recognition to begin screening people before they leave home.

Using the system, travellers take pictures of their passport, visa and proof of funds and upload them to a website. Then, using a web camera, they answer questions posed to them from a computer-animated avatar border guard for a few minutes.

Facial images are checked against stored pictures from a passport or past entries and exits, a comparison that is much more difficult to copy than a fingerprint.

‘Even a fingerprint is easy to imitate and cheat,’ Garbi said. ‘If you have a video capture, and you have some questions along with this, you get pictures of the reactions of the face of the traveller. This is very difficult to copy.’

Research like this will help the EU make citizens safer by securing its borders effectively, without causing long queues and discomfort for travellers.

The avatar is even capable of analysing the non-verbal behaviour of the interviewee and determine if the passenger is lying. The site then sends the inputs the traveller gives to a secure back-end system which calculates an aggregated risk factor, based on a comparison with the stored data and the expression analysis.

The work is part of the EU-funded iCROSS project, which also plans to develop handheld passport and palm scanners capable of detecting millions of biometric reference points. They will even contain radar that can be used to detect stowaways in vehicles.