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Dubai Airport is replacing security checks with face-scanning fish

Dubai Airport is introducing a new security checkpoint where passengers will have their faces scanned while walking through a virtual aquarium.

The tunnel, which will be introduced at Dubai International Airport next summer, uses 80 hidden cameras to collect biometric data as a person passes through it.

The aquarium display of a shoal of fish is intended to catch the traveller’s eye so that the cameras can scan every angle of their face and irises. 

The fish is a sort of entertainment and something new for the traveller but, at the end of the day, it attracts the vision of the travellers to different corners in the tunnel for the cameras to capture his or her face print,’ Major Gen Obaid Al Hameeri, deputy director general of Dubai residency and foreign affairs, told The National. 

The new ‘walk-through’ scanner will replace traditional customs and border agents for some flights at the airport’s Terminal 3 next year. 

Passengers will enter their biometric data in a special electric taxi en-route to the terminal or in pre-registration face-scanning booths.

After checking in and getting their boarding pass, travellers will walk through the tunnel in lieu of a security check.

If the biometric scan matches the data, the passenger will be allowed to board the plane. 

The tunnel, which is intended to take around 15 seconds to walk through, is intended to cut time and human energy at airports.

This would be especially useful at Dubai International Airport, which retained its position as the world’s busiest hub for international passengers in 2016, handling 83.6 million travellers.  

‘We have been working for about four years to transform the procedure from the traditional counter and in the future we will not need the counter at all,’ Major Gen Obaid Al Hameeri added.

‘There will be auditing, of course, but not through the counter.’

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