Delta Air Lines to bring face recognition to bag drops
15 May 2017 17:06 GMT

US carrier Delta Air Lines is trialling a biometric bag drop system using face recognition.

The airline is launching a trial of the technology initially at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, in the next few months, reports The Verge.

Four new self-service bag drop kiosks will be installed in Minneapolis, but only one will include the facial recognition software.

Delta will be collecting customer feedback during the process to gauge how it will expand the service to other airports in the future, a spokesperson said. Delta is spending $600,000 on the new machines.

“We expect this investment and new process to save customers time,” said Gareth Joyce, Delta’s senior VP for airport customer service and cargo, in a statement. “And, since customers can operate the biometric-based bag drop machine independently, we see a future where Delta agents will be freed up to seek out travelers and deliver more proactive and thoughtful customer service.”

Earlier this month, senior US government officials said that biometric technology will have a vital role to play as the US beefs up security at its borders - at the connect:ID conference in Washington. 

Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) in remarks at the Connect ID conference, said  biometric identification technology would be more cost-effective than President Trump’s planned border wall. "We're looking for ways to make the border work more efficiently, not shut it down,” said Peters.

Keynote speaker, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) also sees biometric technology as a key to enhanced border security. Biometric technologies, he said in remarks at the same conference, are "key" to expanding visa entry-exit security programs and blocking terrorists from moving through the southern border and into the U.S. Foreign fighters returning from a failing terrorist caliphate in the Middle East could get Mexican drug cartels to smuggle them into the U.S., he said. 

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